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Residents can speak up on referendum options PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 21:37

District listening sessions held this week at JLMS to get input on upgrade plans

Residents of the Grafton School District have the chance this week to help shape a referendum question on upgrading district facilities.

The district has scheduled two listening sessions — at 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 9 and 10, at John Long Middle School — to accept input into options for renovating and expanding school buildings and district offices.

The sessions are being held by the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee, which has pared the list of upgrade options from nine to two in preparation for a possible referendum in April 2017. Last week, the committee continued to explore ways to fine-tune the options, including cutting projected costs.

Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction has presented plan options to the committee and will continue to discuss them at this week’s sessions.

Option A, estimated to cost $47.3 million, calls for razing Grafton Elementary School, renovating and expanding Kennedy and Woodview elementary schools and upgrading John Long Middle School. The Kennedy and Woodview upgrades would allow those buildings to accommodate more 4K to fifth-grade students.

The option also includes major renovations and additions to Grafton High School, with upgrades to science, technology, engineering and math, fine arts, technical education and physical education facilities.

Option B, estimated to cost $53.7 million, calls for razing Grafton Elementary and the adjoining district office and constructing a middle school at the site to create a campus that combines the middle and high schools.

Kennedy School would be used as the district office, with Woodview School renovated to become a school for 4K and kindergarten. John Long School would be used for first through fifth grades.

This option also includes extensive additions and upgrades to the high school.

The committee was formed after voters rejected two borrowing proposals in an April referendum: $47.7 million for districtwide upgrades and $1.8 million to upgrade outdoor physical education and athletic areas.

At the committee’s Nov. 2 meeting, project architect Jody Andres of Hoffman outlined several ways to cut costs from the two latest options, including reducing the size of building additions. However, Hoffman representatives have also told the committee that construction costs have risen since April and can be expected to increase by next spring.

During this week’s listening sessions, committee members, district staff, School Board members and Hoffman representatives will be on hand to answer questions and listen to feedback. Plans call for the committee to make a recommendation to the board on referendum questions in November or December.

Both sessions are being held in the large gymnasium at John Long School, 700 Hickory St. More information, including proposed upgrade plans, is available at www.graftonschool.org/facilities.

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