Baldwin Junior High School auditorium remodeling options shared with school board
The old Baldwin Junior High School auditorium could be remodeled for other purposes at a cost of $475,000 to $800,000, an architect told the Baldwin school board on Monday.
The board has been reviewing district facilities since it received a report in April from district administrators proposing future uses of all district properties. In its subsequent discussion, the board agreed to attempt to reuse existing district properties rather than add new buildings or space.
One of the areas of interest to the board was the old junior high school auditorium made redundant with the opening a year ago of the Performing Arts Center. Earlier this month, the board accepted a proposal from Kevin Grieshar, of the district’s architectural firm DLR Group, to review at no cost the remodeling of the space.
On Monday, Grieshar shared three options, all of which would remodel the theater seating area into space for a 3,365-square-foot multi-purpose center. That center could be used for high school wrestling and cheerleading practice, a junior high weight room and a 775-square-foot prop storage room.
The options differed on how they would use the stage, storage space behind the stage and the junior high school band and vocal music area, with the cheaper options making fewer changes to those areas.
Grieshar said the sloping floor in the auditorium could be leveled.
The most expensive option, which Grieshar estimated would cost $700,000 to $800,000, would convert the stage and storage space behind it to a band and vocal music room and build two 1,100-square-foot classrooms in the music room.
The second and cheapest option, estimated to cost $475,000 to $500,000, would leave the band and vocal rooms in place and convert the stage to classrooms while doing nothing to the storage space behind the stage.
The third option with an estimated cost of $565,000 to $650,000 would move the band and vocal room to the stage, convert the current music space to classrooms but not touch the storage space behind the stage.
All three options would make improvements to restrooms near the gym and auditorium.
The remodeling could be completed during a summer break, Grieshar said.
Superintendent Paul Dorathy said all three options would provide new homes for the high school wrestling and cheerleading program should the old gymnasium on Chapel Street be sold, move theatrical prop storage space closer to the Performing Arts Center, get the weight room out of the basement where it troubled by flooding and gain two badly needed classrooms in the junior high.
Board members, too, saw the advantages of the remodel, but took no action Monday.
Should the board decide to proceed, it would have to find a way to pay for the work. One possible source is $600,000 remaining in the 2008 bond issue.
At a special meeting earlier this month, Dorathy said there would be implications on the 2012-2013 bond and interest mill levy if the board didn’t opt to dedicate the $600,000 for bond and interest payments. He said at that time the board would have to make that decision on Monday.
However, Cynde Frick, district budget director, said further review of budget numbers and discussions with the district’s bond attorney revealed there would be no effect on next year’s bond and interest mill levy if the board didn’t transfer the money now. The board would have to make a decision on the money before July 1, 2013.
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