The president of the Springs School Board was quick to point out that a recent report outlining $7 million in needed repairs and renovations at the school building needs to be kept in perspective.
“A lot of this is not imminent,” Barbara Dayton said in a recent phone interview, of the work detailed in the long-range facility report. “It’s the most in-depth survey we’ve had of our building, and it included things like replacing the stage curtain, because they have a lifespan, too. But that’s not something that will be happening anytime soon. Just so people understand that we don’t have to run out and spend $7 million on the school. That’s really not the case.”
Prepared by BBS Architects, the report does list $7 million worth of potential renovations. Karalisa Grundner, a project manager for BBS who had examined the school for the report, provided a breakdown at a meeting with her and members of the School Board on November 17.
Some of the more high-priority projects included installing chairlifts to the main music room and performance stage in the gymnasium to accommodate handicapped students, which would cost an estimated $85,000 combined. Another recommendation was to renovate and resize the bathroom of the nurse’s office to accommodate handicapped students, which would cost an estimated $125,000. Both changes would bring the district into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
One of the more costly recommendations was an estimated $680,000 roof replacement to address leaks. Another was spending an estimated $582,500 to provide ventilation for areas like the nurse’s office, the music lessons room and the art room.
Ms. Dayton explained that the long-range facility report looks at issues within the scope of 25 to 30 years, which will allow the committee and the School Board to be aware of everything that will require work in the future—near or far—and decide what the most urgent issues are.
Springs has already acted on certain recommendations, Ms. Dayton said—new carbon monoxide detectors have been installed in the school’s boiler room, and at a $14,335 price that came in under the estimated $15,000. Ms. Dayton said that the focus now will be to prioritize recommendations and figure out when the more high-priority recommendations, like replacing the roof, can be done.
“We know that there are some things on there that should be addressed sooner rather than later, like a handrail that is not as sturdy as it should be,” she said. “We’re just going to be going through this and figuring out what needs to be taken care of sooner. This was just a learning and eye-opening experience, I think, for everybody involved, because there was someone here who literally walked around the entire school and looked into every nook and cranny.”
Ms. Dayton said that no decisions on the recommendations have been made yet and that the next step will be a meeting with the board to determine what should be addressed first and how to handle each project financially. The board is still searching for a new business administrator and new superintendent, and discussion continues about a possible expansion to the school.
“The facts were presented, and now we have to take them and discuss and figure things out.” This is laying the groundwork for us,” Ms. Dayton said.