Manila School Board looking toward growth

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
A rendering of a new high school facility placed at the available space on the present campus was presented at the August board meeting. Board members agreed it would fit, but leave no room for growth and possibly create more problems with traffic and drainage. (photo provided)

Manila School Board members viewed a rendering of a high school building built on the present location of the school campus.

John Mixon, architect, was asked by board members to prepare and submit the building as it would look if it is built on the existing property.

"This is how it will look on the existing site," Mixon said. "The same building budget with the same building size. The bus barn would have to be torn down and possibility another building."

"Looking at this on the map, there is no place to grow to accommodate any potential growth," Board member Jeremy Jackson said. "It fits on the property, but we have no room left."

Board member Brandon Veach said even looking at the old Tipton Hall and gym being torn down, room is still limited.

"That is why I requested this map be drawn so we could see exactly how a new building would fit," Veach said. "We needed something we can show to the public and show them why we voted to move the new high school to a new sight."

Adam Seider, construction manager, gave an overview from the construction point commenting on the expense to bring the site utilities and infrastructure up to where it would be needed.

"Some of the campus does not drain well as it is," Seider said.

"So, physically it will fit but we are limited," Veach said. "Also, there will be drainage problems."

"If we put it there, there is no room to grow," Board member Tracy Reinhart said.

"We can make the facility fit but it will always look like we made it fit," Board member Tommy Wagner said. "When you spend $23 million you want it to look good."

"We have to take into consideration the new jobs coming to the area and our potential growth," Reinhart said. "In the 25 years I've been here a $20 million project in Manila doesn't happen every day. Seeing this really makes me think. Do we want to spend that much money and hide it? We would not want to build a huge house and put it on a small lot. We want this to be good for the whole community. We as a board have yet to let the people know it will not work on site."

Reinhart said when they first discussed moving the high school he, as a safety official, had concerns about 16 year olds driving on the highway but looking at the map with the building placed on site, it makes him worry more about 16 year olds driving by the six year olds.

"As a board we have to decide what is best," Reinhart said.

Wagner said a small percentage (purchasing 40 acres) is holding up the entire project.

The board discussed the cost of rebuilding a bus shop, drainage problems, traffic problems, and the cost of upgrading utilities if a new high school was built on the present location.

"We know the pros and drawbacks," Superintendent Pam Castor said. "The day to day operation and possible evacuation of students would be a problem with more wires overhead. As the campus becomes more crowded these issues become more critical."

Board member Anita Cole commented about there being standing room only in the auditorium the first day of school with only the students there. She said they need to look at the future growth and needs.

Board President Dan Robbins thanked everyone for their discussion and input.

"Our goal is to do what is best for the students of our district," Robbins said.

Following the approval of the minutes and review of the financial report, board members went into executive session to discuss resignations and hiring.

On Ms. Castor's recommendation, the board voted unanimously to accept the resignations of Paige Penny, paraprofessional, and Dana Dawson, study hall.

The board voted unanimously to hire Chelsea Mealer as elementary teacher for the 2014-2015 school year; Tiffany Costner, board secretary; and Coy Jackson, bus driver.

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  • It appears the board still has a very narrow view of how to move forward. The school has enough money that they are not disclosing that can be used to get the matching funds without a tax increase. It seems we need to elect new board members to get this straightened out!

    -- Posted by Hornet1997 on Thu, Aug 28, 2014, at 6:20 PM
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