Feb. 5, 2007

Numbers looked at for school expansion options

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

A second meeting of the Delano Schools Facility Advisory Committee took place Thursday evening with more discussion about the direction the district should go in dealing with its growing enrollment.

At the first meeting Jan. 18, architect Paul Youngquist of the firm Rego and Youngquist, presented facility options to the committee.

He showed six options to the committee, ranging in estimated cost from about $12 million dollars to about $36 million dollars.

At Thursday’s evening, the committee reviewed the options, as well as the tax impact for financing various amounts (see graph).

Thursday, Superintendent Dr. John Sweet introduced “option seven” that he came up with, which would be constructing a new building for grades four and five, which would add an additional 63,750 square feet, and cost roughly $14.4 million. The other options presented were:

Option one: Additions to the elementary, middle, and high school. Presently, the elementary school can hold 750 students, and the middle and high schools can hold 700 students each.

This option would increase that number to 850 students in the elementary, and 850 students in each the middle and high schools, as well.

The estimated cost for this option is $11,873,559.

Option two: New primary elementary school. A new facility holding kindergarten through second grades would be built, moving grades three through six to the existing elementary facility.

This option would accommodate growth for three to four years after the building is completed, Youngquist said.

The estimated cost for this option is $21,309,000.

Option three: New intermediate elementary school. A new facility for grades four through six would be built. Youngquist said this option works similar to option two, but with different grade configurations in the buildings.

The estimated cost for this option is also $21,309,000.

Option four: Second elementary school. The existing elementary facility, and a new facility, would both be home to grades one through six.

The estimated cost for this option is $22,279,080.

Option five: New high school. A new building for grades 10 through 12 would be built, with grades four through six shifting to existing facilities.

The estimated cost for this option is $39,177,120.

Option six: New middle school. A new building for students in grades seven through nine.

It was noted this grouping would not be consistent with the grade groupings that have been successful for Delano in the past.

The estimated cost for this option is $35,874,510.

Joel Sutter and Gary Olsen of Ehlers and Associates reviewed tax impact by showing possible structures for different amounts of bonding over a 20-year period. Operating costs of each proposal were also reviewed.

Following review of the financial information provided, members of the committee broke into small groups to discuss options further.

The committee has a meeting set for Thursday, Feb. 15 for further discussion to take place, and to determine where to go from this point.

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