The Belmond-Klemme school board got its first look Nov. 19 at a proposal to spend $2.6 million to remodel the junior/senior high school building. The remodeling, which would include new classrooms, a total overhaul of the office/front entrance area, and a greenhouse, would be completed over four years.
The four-year plan could be completely financed with sales tax proceeds.
There are two major components to the Summer 2020 phase of the project: a 30’x80’ greenhouse and a “coaches addition” between the shop classroom and the gymnasium.
The greenhouse would be built in the same location as the old one that was torn down years ago. It would be separated into areas for horticulture and aquaponics. The project would cost an estimated $250,000.
The “coaches addition” would include two bathrooms with showers for adult staff, coaches and game officials. There would also be a family bathroom open to the public adjacent to the gym. That bathroom would include space for a changing table and a lactation area for breastfeeding mothers. Between the bathrooms would be a training area for ice tubs, taping and other services for student athletes. There would also be a storage area accessible from the gym. The 1,330 square foot area would cost about $250,000.
Superintendent Dan Frazier said those two projects could be completed during the summer.
He also suggested several other projects that could be completed in the same time frame: remodeling the art room, completing the hallway tiling project, and new bleachers for the football stadium (south of the permanent bleachers) and new bleachers in the gym.
The next proposed project would be building two new classrooms on the northeast corner of the school. The classrooms would be located just east of the English Language Learners (the former alternative classroom) and a science classroom, and be built out to the sidewalk on the east. The estimated cost of the 1,993 square foot project is $400,000.
Those two new classrooms will first be used as a temporary front office during Phase 3. That phase includes building out to the east and north of the current office. The new construction would include a front office, conference room, principal’s office, staff work room and break area, two flexible learning spaces, music storage room and small music practice room. The hallway and entrance to the music wing and Luick Memorial Auditorium will be expanded as well.
The former front office will be remodeled into a sickroom and nurse’s office, two small bathrooms including one family bathroom, and a reception area.
The final phase involves moving two history classrooms into the new classrooms that were built in the fall and winter of 2020. The former history classrooms will be converted to two special education rooms. Those rooms will include a calming room and a small “life skills” apartment. That area will be used to teach special education students skills such as cooking and cleaning.
There was not much discussion about the four-phase plan. Frazier urged boardmembers to review the plans and talk to him about any concerns.