The Swanton Board of Education took an initial step last week in the process to build elementary school additions. The board approved a resolution authorizing the superintendent and treasurer to enter into contract negotiations for professional design services with the firm ranked most qualified as presented.
That firm is Munger Munger + Associates of Toledo, and representatives were at the meeting to give board members more information about potential improvements at district school buildings.
The total cost of the addition and renovation project was estimated at $5.14 million. Four rooms would be added onto Crestwood Elementary and four rooms added onto Park Elementary School. Renovations would also be done to a small section of the high school to allow for preschool classrooms. If approved, this would allow the district to close the middle school building before next school year.
Grades K-3 would be housed at Crestwood Elementary School, while grades 4-8 would be at Park.
An electric panel and service upgrade will be needed at Crestwood Elementary to accommodate the new space. It will not be needed at Park, because it was upgraded when the gymnasium was built.
Also presented were the plans for Fisher Gymnasium once the current middle school is demolished. It would be a stand-alone building with the gym, locker rooms, and remodeled bathrooms, according to the plans. The steam heating system would no longer be used.
The board could decide at the next meeting how to fund the project. It could be funded out of the district’s cash flow or partially or fully financed.
Board member Dave Smith said at this time he didn’t feel comfortable funding the entire project with the district’s cash flow, mentioning possible unforeseen issues for which money would be needed. At least partially financing the project is an option.
“That way, if there’s an issue we don’t have our backs against the wall,” said Smith.
Any bids for the project would still have to be approved by the school board. That could happen in November or December, according to Superintendent Jeff Schlade.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010