Abe Hachmann gave a report on his consulting work regarding the future needs of the district’s facilities at the Nov. 11 meeting of the Buena Vista school board.
Hachmann said the district’s student population was growing at a rate of about 2 percent per year, and that the most immediate needs the district will face are at Avery-Parsons Elementary School, with new students entering the elementary on a weekly basis and the preschool facing a waiting list for entry.
Hachmann offered several options for how the elementary school could be expanded. His recommended way forward would be to construct a new building in the northeast corner of the Avery-Parsons property. Hachmann estimated that this building would cost $3-4 million to build.
Another option would have the preschool take over the kindergarten wing of the school and building a six-classroom addition on the northwest corner of the building, moving each grade up to fill the space.
Requiring less than it would take to build an entirely new structure, Hachmann estimated that option at $2.3 million.
While it would be feasible to move fifth grade into the new middle and high school buildings, finance director Janice Martin said that creating a situation in which fifth graders and high school seniors were sharing the same halls would be undesireable.
In the next 5 to 10 years, Hachmann said that the district would have to do something about the old gymnasium, which is attached to the district administration building behind the courthouse.
Currently being used as storage during construction of the new school building, the gym’s roof is leaking badly and is in danger of falling in, Hachmann said.
One element of the facility plan that the board did make moves on was the approval of a lease with the option of purchase of a Sprung building.
Don’t know what a Sprung building is? From the outside, it looks like a massive tent the size of a building, 60 by 105 feet, with a heavy-duty plastic fabric stretched tight over a metal frame and a steeply pitched roof. Inside, the space is flexible, but will be used initially as a temporary cafeteria while the new school building is being constructed.
The terms of the lease offer a monthly rental price of $13,469. If all payments are made on time, then after one year, the school would have the option to buy the structure with 70 percent of its rental payments being credited to the purchase price, which would be $261,292.
If the district moves to buy the structure within 3 months, 100 percent of its rental payments will be credited to the final purchase price.
The modular nature of the building, frequently used in industrial applications – Monarch Mountain uses a Sprung building, Hachmann said – means that it could be moved and used for several different applications once its tenure as the school cafeteria is through.
At first, the structure will be placed on a concrete slab that will eventually be a middle school play area.
Hachmann said that the Boys & Girls Club, as well as the Buena Vista Recreation Department, have expressed interest in the structure as well.