Swanton Local Schools building renovation talks continue

By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]

Building plans for Swanton Local Schools were discussed further last Wednesday, with possible alternatives to add to the construction bids taking up much of the time.

The district has been moving forward in the process to add onto Park and Crestwood elementary schools to accommodate grades K-8 in the two buildings, demolish the current middle school, except for Fisher gymnasium, and move preschool classes to the high school.

Alternatives included a lunch room at Park Elementary School, air conditioning at both Park and Crestwood, electric lockdown for exterior doors, and “Bring it Forward” items. The “Bring It Forward” plan would involve reusing architectural or otherwise significant items from the demolished Cherry Street building.

The alternatives would be part of the bid, and the district would decide whether to include them in the project.

“The more we think about this, the more questions we have,” said Superintendent Jeff Schlade. “It is exciting, but frustrating.”

The cost of some of the alternatives may prove to be more than the board is willing to spend.

The cost to make Crestwood completely air conditioned was estimated at $646,000, while the cost at Park was estimated to be $433,000. “Obviously, air conditioning is a luxury I don’t think we can afford,” said board member Dave Smith.

A lunch room addition to Park School was also discussed. Without it, it was mentioned that students will likely have less time for physical education than they do now, due to the dual use of the gym for both class and lunches.

“Does that become an issue because there isn’t enough time and room, the gym is no longer adequate to do the two functions we’re trying to do, with the additional kids,” said Smith.

It could be that a new lunch room is something district officials would ideally like to do, but the $900,000 estimated cost may end up being more than the board is willing to spend.

“It’s not going to be everybody’s perfect situation, but we want to make it as many people’s as possible,” said Schlade.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a resolution for an agreement with Munger Munger + Associates to provide professional design services for the project. The vote was 3-2 with Smith and Chris Nijakowski voting no.

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010