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Rugby Board looks into building improvements

By Staff | Jul 22, 2009

Classroom renovation is sorely needed in the original portion of the Rugby Jr.-Sr. High building, constructed in 1957, and it’s one of the building improvement priorities identified by school officials and architects.

At its July 21 meeting, the board received an hour-long presentation from Don Davison of Davison and Larson Architects, Minot, who reviewed potential phases of improvements to the district’s facilities.

Among them is an estimated $2.5 million in improvements to a majority of the classrooms and offices that make up the Jr.-Sr. High.

Jeff Lind, school superintendent, said many of the lighting and heating systems in those rooms are original, and the focus has to be on getting those areas up to today’s standards.

In the past decade, some improvements and heating and ventilation upgrades have been made to a few of the rooms, but no major improvement plan has been laid out, and that’s why the board went ahead and contacted an architect.

Davison went over a list of projects for the board to consider. Among them were classroom changes in the 1957 wing. Others included moving the cafeteria from its current location on the northwest corner of the building and creating a new cafeteria in what now is an empty courtyard just west of the gym commons. Other areas include improvements in the music department, and installing new windows and lighting at Ely Elementary.

Lind said some of the projects identified by Davison were the same ones school officials also have looked into, while others, like moving the cafeteria into a new addition, are the architect’s ideas. Overall, the presentation gives the board some food for thought for future improvements.

The next step for the board is to look into what financing options are available. The district has nearly $400,000 in one-time supplemental federal grants to put toward building upgrades, but that won’t come close to covering the total price tag.

Lind said one of the objectives of the board in the future is to inform the public about the need for modernizing the school.

While the public primarily only sees the school’s gymnasium and auditorium areas, two of the most recent additions, they may not realize other areas of the school are five decades old and need to be modernized.

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