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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Architect proposes auditorium/renovation under $17.5m budget

Monday, November 26, 2012

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The Storm Lake School Board received the contract from its new architect firm, DLR Group of Des Moines this week, for a proposed performing arts auditorium and renovation project at the high school.

The board tabled the adoption of the contract so they could have more time to look it over. They will meet next week at a special meeting to take action.

DLR is proposing a cost of $15.8 million for the renovation and the construction of a new auditorium with an additional $1.1 million for architect fees. The architect fees represent 7.2 percent of the project cost, which is average.

The DLR Group was hired recently, selected from four other firms that wanted to work with the district on the project.

The I&S Group had worked with the district for nearly a year, hired to complete the study on the high school, hear concerns and ideas from the two committees on what is needed for the renovation and the auditorium, and design conceptual drawings.

I&S's proposed cost was $32 million, more than the district could afford. The district's debt limit is $21.9, though the board wishes to hold the cost to $17.5 million so there would be dollars available for other things that come up.

DLR's first drawing was also presented at Monday's meeting and indicated focus areas that would be concentrated on.

* Air conditioning, windows, fire sprinkler system, ADA modifications, ceilings, electrical upgrades throughout the high school. Keep in mind, the oldest portion of the building is 50 years old.

* A multipurpose gym with 250 seats, a 94' basketball court, volleyball court and two wrestling mats.

* New classrooms, collaborative spaces, a loading dock, offices, a science wing, freshmen center and business lab.

* An auditorium with 750 seats, a scene shop, theatrical equipment and restrooms.

Voters in the community are being asked to support the project by voting yes to three ballot resolutions Dec. 4 which would allow the district to obtain those dollars.

Resolutions on the ballot:

* SILO Revenue Purpose Statement - allowing the district to use and borrow against the one-cent sales tax (which will continue to collected regardless of election outcome). This does not affect property taxes. A total of $11,060,000 could be borrowed from this fund.

* Modify voter-approved PPEL from 17 cents to $1.34 per thousand of assessed valuation until 2016. A total of approximately $1.5 million can be borrowed from this property tax increase.

This would affect taxes. An example of the impact, as provided by Piper Jaffray, is that on a home with an assessed value (not market value) of $100,000, would require an annual additional tax of $55.75 (or an addition of $4.65 per month.) Check with Supt. Turner on how to get a copy of Piper Jaffray's information describing what an increase in tax levy means to property owners.

* The third resolution is to extend that PPEL fund by an additional 10 more years to 2026. (A total of $5 million can be borrowed from this property tax increase.)

Making sure people understand what is on the ballot is the key, said Supt. Turner.

Supt. Turner has spoke publicly about the project and the upcoming vote 13 times since Oct. 31; board president Ed McKenna and athletic director Ty Seaman have also spoke out.

There are several other opportunities to hear Supt. Turner speak about the project before the vote or give him a call at the school and he will be happy to discuss it.

Supt. Turner has said that in the event that if the resolutions do not pass, the board would realign things and try again. "I don't see the board stopping on this."

He added, "We're doing all this for the kids, making a better place for them. We can't think about what we can't do but what we can do."



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