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Board to hold public presentation

By Staff | May 13, 2010

Rugby school board members see the need and benefit of doing an extensive renovation and construction of an addition at the Jr.-Sr. High.

The $6 million question is whether at least 60 percent of school district voters agree.

School officials are hopeful the public will take the opportunity on Monday, May 24 to attend an open house at the Jr.-Sr. High to learn more about the project, including hearing from the project architect.

The event will start at 6 p.m. with a free meal and tours of the school and planned work area followed by a short program.

It’s likely Zerr Berg, the project architect, will show a 3-D video presentation of the $6 million renovation and new addition.

For the past several weeks school board members have met with various organizations and groups from the community to inform them of the planned project.

The May 24 open house is one of the last opportunities to educate district residents about the project, the costs and the annual impact to taxpayers. The bond issue will be voted on at the June 8 school election.

Major renovation for the 1955 wing of the high school on the south side of the building is planned. It will include gutting classrooms and replacing heating and cooling exchange systems. Also, a new addition to the west of the present gym commons is proposed. The addition will serve as the new cafeteria, create a larger commons area and provide space for administrative offices. Minor renovation is scheduled for the auditorium, music department and vocational agriculture rooms.

One question that has been posed to the board is why is it necessary to add more space, if enrollment numbers are significantly down from years ago.

While student population has dropped, the advent of computers, distance learning labs and a greater emphasis on special education has filled once empty classrooms, points out Chuck Volk, board member.

Also it’s important to point out there is going to be a need to store items while renovation work is going on. Volk added it’s likely the first phase would be to complete the addition.

Moving the administrative offices into the planned addition near the gym entrance on the north side, it enables school officials to see who is entering the building, and making the campus more secure, said Susie Schmaltz, school board member. Right now, that is not possible since the school office is on the west side of the building.

Board members encourage residents to take in the open house and come with questions. They want residents to leave with a good understanding of the project.

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