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S-GI board looks at possible capital project

SPRINGVILLE—A multi-purpose room addition to the Springville-Griffith Institute High School was recommended as the capital project at the Aug. 5 board of education meeting. The recommendation came from the Facilities Review Committee, at the voice of Linda Hoffman.

The committee was formed to take a look at all the buildings in the district and determine where a capital project would be most beneficial.

Board president Alison Duwe explained that the purpose of Hoffman’s presentation was to report the findings of the committee, recommend a capital project and answer questions from the board.

“I think given the intent of tonight’s discussion is to hear from the committee about the report the board received,” Duwe said. “And in particular to get clarifying questions answered and to voice areas of need in terms of area and research. We’re not attempting to make a decision tonight.”

The committee presented the board with a report outlining their recommendations for a proposed capital project for the district.

“We talked about everything from bullet proof glass to putting a greenhouse on top of a green roof at the high school, so our discussions were free ranging,” Hoffman said. “And focused on what we felt was best for the students, for the community and the fiscal health of the district. Those were our three prime areas that we took into consideration when we were doing this.”

Hoffman explained that the committee addressed all health and safety issues, but green initiatives were also on top of the committee’s list, and asked the board to consider drafting a policy for keeping the district environmentally friendly.

Switching to the recommended multi-purpose addition, Hoffman said it would improve teaching stations for physical education and increase facilities for the agriculture program, in addition to being open for public use. Updated locker rooms, an indoor track, a fitness center and technology classrooms are also included in the proposal.

“It would basically take everything that’s in the basement, out of the basement,” Hoffman said. “Because that basement space is not a good space and it would be very expensive to bring that basement space up to code.”

The current gym was built 64 years ago and needs of the district and students have changed since then, according to committee members. The multi-purpose addition would also include new locker rooms, for visiting teams.

The recommendation also included a living roof at the Middle School, which would help with utility costs, as well as provide learning experiences for the agricultural program. The living roof would include low maintenance, ground cover plants that sustain and maintain themselves, Hoffman said.

Board member Michael Connors expressed his concern with declining student enrollment and the idea that, down the road, the district may have to close buildings and spreading capital project money across the buildings may not be the best idea.

Echoing the concern about enrollment trends, board member Kara Kane requested the committee look into enrollment both locally and regionally as well as the utilization of current space in the district and the success of other districts that have added a multi-purpose room with public access.

Duwe reiterated the point that this presentation was solely a recommendation and that the board would request more information before making any decisions.

“We will be addressing this topic and looking to make a decisions over the course of a couple of months,” Duwe said.

The next board of education meeting will be Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. in the High School library and media center.

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