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District eyes architect

By Staff | Jan 14, 2010

The Rugby School Board is seeking an architect for its planned large-scale renovation project at Rugby Jr.-Sr. High and Ely Elementary, but officials will wait at least one more month before determining the scope of the work.

At its Jan. 12 meeting, the board authorized Jeff Lind, school superintendent, to contact four architect firms for a request for proposal (RFP) of services.

The district has been working with Minot architect firm, Davis and Larson, in the early stages of the project, including drafting a facilities assessment. However, the board wanted to consider other architecture firms before settling on one to oversee designs.

“I would rather see more than one proposal,’ said Chuck Volk, board member.

The board will likely hold a special meeting prior to its next regular meeting in February to review the firm’s RFP’s.

The board has not yet determined just what improvements or renovations will be included in the project, but that decision will come at its Feb. 9 meeting. It will probably begin with updating the 1955 wing of the high school, including installing new heating and cooling systems. Improvements at Ely Elementary, including new windows, are also a high priority.

The board did receive input from a 24-person ad hoc committee late last year on the planned improvements and the committee agreed that updating the 1955 high school wing and work at Ely is warranted.

Future upgrades include improving the lighting and sound systems in the high school auditorium; improvements to the music and vocational agriculture departments as well as an addition to the gym commons area.

Once school officials settle on just what repairs or improvements will be made, the board will select an architect to begin with designs.

The school does have some funding options, including levying up to 15 mills as allowed by the state without the need of a general bond issue. Also, the district has about $380,000 in one-time stimulus funds which can be used toward the project. Those funds, however, are not nearly enough to cover the suggested improvements which would be well over $4 million. Another option discussed was to tap into zero-interest bonds through a federal education stimulus program. However, that would require a bond issue. School officials are also looking into some grants.

Last month the district did submit a school construction approval request to the Department of Public Instruction – a required step in moving toward major renovation work.

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