School Comments

School Comments By Robert Mayer During the next few weeks a series of articles will appear in the "School Comments" about the high school facilities expansion project.

The need for construction of a fine arts facility was identified several years ago. An architectural drawing was made in 1991 of an auditorium. The school boards from 1991-1997 did not pursue this project for a variety of reasons. In the fall of 1997 discussions began again as to the need for such a facility. The school board decided that an evaluation of all its facilities was needed.

This study resulted in an addition to the Austin School of four classrooms. These rooms allowed for an additional section of second grade, computers, and rooms for children with special needs. No immediate or long range need for space was identified at Jolley School or the Vermillion Middle School.

There were three identified needs for the high school. In addition to the fine arts facility, more space is needed for the library and an auxiliary gym for practice of volleyball, basketball, gymnastics and wrestling. A facilities task force of citizens was asked to evaluate these facility needs. The task force met from November 1997 to May 1998. A report was given to the school board in August 1998. The report said, in part, "the task force believes that the proposed additions are warranted and will benefit the students, district and community." The scope of the project entails the following:

1. Expansion of the library into the common dining area. Renovation of the library which would include access for disabled people.

2. Construction of a new commons and kitchen.

3. Construction of an auditorium/fine arts facility.

4. Construction of an auxiliary gymnasium that would accommodate volleyball, basketball, wrestling and gymnastics practice.

There are two public meetings scheduled for citizens who desire additional information and a tour of the existing facility. The meeting dates are March 15 and April 5. Both meetings are at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library.

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