Archive for Thursday, November 11, 2004

District looks at new facilities

November 11, 2004

The Baldwin School District could have a new auditorium by the end of 2008.

Supt. James White told the Baldwin Board of Education at Monday's meeting that the next phase of the 15-year expansion plan for the district would need to be started soon.

"The next stage is going to be upon us really quickly," he said.

Included in that stage is the construction of a new performing arts center at Baldwin High School. White said tentative plans call for a 1,000-seat auditorium, which is expected to cost an estimated $3-4 million.

The new performing arts center would double the size of Baldwin's current 500-seat auditorium, which is located in the Baldwin Junior High School.

"We're probably looking at a bond issue to do a new auditorium," he said.

According to the district's 15-year expansion plan, the bond issue for the new auditorium is scheduled for the fall of 2006. Should the plan be followed, construction on the auditorium would begin in 2007, and be completed in 2008.

The first phase of the 15-year plan has already been completed. That included building the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center, which is currently in its second year of occupancy, constructing additions at BJHS and Vinland Elementary School, and building a storage shed at Marion Springs Elementary School.

Though the district is anticipating a new auditorium, not everything on the expansion project might proceed as planned.

White said a recent lull in district growth could delay the construction of a new middle school and elementary school.

"We're basing any building decision on the number of students," he said.

According to the plan, a new middle school would be built around 2010 once the student population reached 900 for both the junior high and high schools. A new elementary school for 350 students would be constructed around 2013.

But White said the two schools might not be needed as soon if enrollment numbers don't increase as fast as anticipated.

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