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June 14, 2013

Build me up: NA-FC considers referendum for major school renovations



“We need to be ready,” Snyder said. “We need to finish the project definition and communicate with our public, but we don’t want to start too soon because the earlier we start, the more money we will lose because we have to pay interest during construction. We’ll begin paying the debt back in January of [20]18 when the New Albany High School debt falls off.”

The district has already worked on the design concepts with two architects. Schmidt and Associates, which carried out the demographic and facility needs study for the district last year, worked on the Slate Run and Green Valley projects while VPS Architecture showed various configurations of the Prosser renovation. Those three buildings were identified as most in need of updates in the facilities study.

At the meeting, Snyder said the bulk of the $63 million would go to the projects at the two elementary schools, leaving whatever was left for Prosser. The projects for the elementary schools, presented by Tom Neff at Schmidt and Associates, were still in very early stages, but he said the company worked with teachers in those buildings to get ideas for sites they’d like to emulate and what kind of layout they’d like to see.

George Link with VPS Architecture showed three options for Prosser, budgeted at $12 million, $20 million and $25 million respectively. Link said work to the facade of Prosser would help provide a more obvious point of entry, as well as bring the cosmetology school to the main campus; it’s currently on Grant Line Road. But other additions, such as a third building on campus to house the automotive program and district bus maintenance center, would require more than $12 million to accomplish.

“There are many reasons for this initiative,” Snyder said. “The way we fund it certainly is a prime driver, but the use of our [studies in] demographics and physical conditions of our schools is another driver.”

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