The Board of Education is considering the growing needs of our school facility. We have completed a few critical projects during the past five years using our annual capital outlay budget but much of what remains will need a community-passed bond issue.
We have begun building a list of facility needs to include district-wide improvements of the heating and cooling system, electrical system, flooring and furniture, parking lots and sidewalks, as well as the needed replacement of the gold fascia surrounding the middle and high school buildings. Other potential projects would improve security and student safety by updating doors and windows, the camera system, and adding tornado shelters.
An additional project would move all the elementary school to the same campus as middle and high schools which could result in long-term savings in a variety of ways. This project would require the sale of the current elementary school building; a possibility resulting in something positive for our community.
Finally, the long-discussed vision of renovating the Greer facility and creating a community center could be a part of this comprehensive project.
There are numerous hurdles to address in this process and many more conversations yet to come. Now that a tentative vision of future facility needs has been put together, the Board of Education is preparing to take the next important step in further developing this vision. In September, a Board committee will recommend an architectural firm for this project. The architect will be able to estimate project costs and work with the BOE to develop an overall plan. Steps over the next year or more include recruiting a project committee, the development of a priority list, and the decision on how to fund each of these projects.
During the school year this facility project will begin to take shape as possibilities become realities or impossibilities. Big decisions about property use, construction and demolition, and revenue sources will be made in the process of developing a long-term vision for our schools and community. In a few months, a special page on our district website will be used to provide patrons and staff with project updates, surveys, and options.
Even though this project is still in its infancy, questions and suggestions are welcome and can be directed to myself at 345-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.