June 1, 2010 |

School District facility planning

At the May 19 board meeting, the Granite Falls School Board opted to delay the Middle School move to the old High School for one year based on several factors.

The District’s uncertain financial situation is a main contributing issue.

Superintendent Karen Koschak said, “Spending down the capital projects fund would not be fiscally responsible given the low general fund balance. The Board has set goals to increase the fund balance and feels the District must stabilize financially before undertaking a large project.”

Other considerations included:

• The project could not be completed in time for school opening in September. The entire “C” wing would need to be a construction zone while students attended school.

• The state recently released grant funds for energy improvements. The District may qualify for funds to finish the old High School retrofit and improvements at other schools given time to apply for the grant.

• A facilities committee needs to be established to determine short and long term goals, timelines to complete work, resolve the logistics of moving the Middle School to the old High School and Crossroads to the Middle School, and establish needs at other schools.

“We want to make sure we have time to do the project correctly. We need to make sure the renovations to the old High School are completed including the HVAC system, roofing needs, painting, tile work, and plumbing upgrades. The Middle School students and staff are anxious to move but it’s important the school is ready for them so we are not disrupting the educational environment with construction work,” Koshak added.

The facilities committee will be formed early next fall to begin the planning process. Anyone interested in serving on the committee, should contact Kathy Grant at 360-691-7717.

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