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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Costs and drawings of high school renovation revealed

Friday, August 3, 2012

Costs for a proposed Storm Lake High School renovation have been estimated by I&S Group, the architect firm that has been busy assessing the needs and wants of the district and school staff. I&S has developed preliminary conceptual drawings for the district in the form of three options.

Costs could range between $3.14 million to $6.1 million - and that does not include a 15-26 percent additional cost for site work, furniture and hazardous material abatement.

"Nothing is set in stone," said Superintendent Dr. Carl Turner. "These are only conceptual drawings."

He told those in attendance - high school staff and administrators, school board members, SL Booster Club members and SL auditorium committee members - that the goal of the special meeting was to gather more information so that the I&S Group can work on more concrete drawings. The architects will make a final presentation to the Storm Lake School Board on Aug. 22 and the board will then make a decision about moving ahead.

In each of the drawings, to incorporate all of the space issues, there are renovations - moving classrooms around to better accommodate the students - and there are additions.

Those additions range in size from 12,500 square feet to 25,150 square feet.

Renovations of existing space varies as well, from 9,300- square feet to 19,000-square feet.

Overlapping with the possible renovation plan is the possible addition of a new auditorium. Ideas were gathered and sifted through over several months earlier this year. Conceptual drawings were also shared.

When the consideration to renovate the high school came up, it was decided that the construction of an auditorium could be tied right into those plans.

In each of the conceptual drawings presented Monday at the renovation meeting, the auditorium is pictured on the south side of the building. Costs of the potential auditorium were not included in any of the figures. The auditorium committee worked extremely hard to come up with ideas that they believed are essential in creating an auditorium that would best meet the needs of the students and community - but that comes at a high price. The structure they would like to see added to the high school is expected to cost $11 million or more.

As those in attendance Monday poured over the conceptual drawings of the renovation, there were bits and pieces of each drawing that they said they would like deleted or added. That is what the architects said would occur and those new ideas will be of great assistance to them as those new drawings are created.

Concept A included an addition included relocating the current front office to the south and creating an office suite to include administrators, counselors, administrative assistants. That vacated space could then be utilized by the music department, which is west of that current office area.

The concept would also include the moving of the art room, which most feel is a must, doubling the size of the speech room and adding a wing of new science classrooms.

Concept B offered more space for the weight room and includes a wing of science classrooms.

Concept C also includes a science wing as well as a larger weight room and an auxiliary gym (8,200 square feet). The extra gym was something the committee expressed at previous meetings to be something very much needed.

Comments on the three drawings were gathered and those in attendance would like to see these aspects in the next drawings which the board will ultimately make their decision on:

* enlarge the media center

* extend the corridor on the dock area where food deliveries are made

* include more restrooms

* intersperse special education classrooms throughout the building

* relocate the art room so it is closer to the fine arts wing (which includes the music departments and a relocated speech room)

* increase the weight room

* include the auxiliary gym

* expand the kitchen

It was pointed out that what ever construction occurs, it will need to be done in phases to allow educating of the students to continue.

Supt. Turner said if the board approves the project, the next steps will include locating the funding avenues and developing a timeline.

"My dream is that sometime next spring we could begin the bidding," he said.

The Aug. 22 school board meeting is an open meeting and everyone is invited to hear the next proposal. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the school administration building.

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