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Archive for Tuesday, January 22, 1991

ARCHITECTURAL FIRM CITES COSTS ON AREA SCHOOL BUILDING PLANS

January 22, 1991

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— The architectural firm Hollis & Miller, which was hired to draw up plans for DeSoto's April school bond election, put price tags on three preliminary building ideas at Monday night's board meeting.

Architects had presented the plans at the Jan. 7 meeting, but were unable to give costs at that time.

Supt. Glenn Coltharp said the board was surprised the plan calling for the most new construction would require the least amount of money, compared to renovations.

"They pointed out that remodeling or adding on to a school is more expensive than we thought," he said.

Concept A, which includes building a new elementary school and a new high school, converting the existing high school into a new junior high school, and transforming the existing junior high school into an alternative education center, would cost $10,315,000.

CONCEPT B would add to or renovate all DeSoto schools and move the ninth-grade class from the junior high to the high school at a cost of $12,003,653.

Concept C featured additions or renovations at the high school and all elementary schools, construction of a new junior high school, and converting the existing junior high school into an alternative education center at a cost of $12,621,153.

Coltharp said the board agreed to continue Monday's meeting until 7 p.m. next Tuesday. At that time, board members will decide on a plan to put before the voters.

"What we'll probably do is scale down one of the concepts to come up with a concept D," he said.

Rather than focus on which options to remove from the final plan, Coltharp said the board probably will focus on which options are most needed. Although DeSoto voters have defeated both a $12 million and a $7 million bond issue in the past two years, Coltharp said he feels the district might have better luck in April.

"I THINK with this one, if we can get it between seven and eight million (dollars) and if it's a good project, it'll have a good chance of passing," he said.

About 90 DeSoto patrons attended a public meeting Saturday morning in DeSoto city hall to ask questions about the upcoming bond election, Coltharp said. Many, he said, were interested in building a high school in DeSoto and alleviating overcrowding in the junior high school.

"We saw individuals on both sides of past issues, but everybody was very open-minded about building," he said.

School board members and architects will be on hand again from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at Woodsonia Elementary School to explain the three concepts and hear concerns from the public.

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