Central School Board views new elementary expansion plan

District 108 School Board members took a first look at a revised plan to add extra space at the elementary school Monday, Sept 24, at a special workshop following the regular board meeting.

And, while the new plan includes a fifth classroom, music room,  a new commons space with a terraced steps area  similar to an amphitheater, and improved parking and bus travel route, the plan also includes an increased price tag.

Architect Paul Youngquist presented sketches of the building plan and parking areas and a breakdown of costs for the various parts of the project. The new total for the complete project is estimated to be $3,284,817. This is almost double the cost of the initial project $1,615,000) that would have added four classrooms and a new office area and some storage.

Youngquist noted that while the new plan is much more expensive it adds a lot more space to the building and improves safety for students. He said the new plans could be altered or parts could be eliminated as the district desires. Youngquist added that if a project is approved it would take about one year from the time of approval through construction.

The tax impact to district residents if the new plan were approved is unknown at this time. Superintendent Brian Corlett said he would have those numbers available soon. The original plan was estimated to have little or no impact on taxpayers as the costs of a bond would just replace the amount the  district is now playing to lease space .

The board will be considering the new proposal at a future meeting. If this or any plan is approved, district voters could possibly be asked to vote on it as early as spring 2013.