If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
TAYLORVILLE — Community members packed the Taylorville High School cafeteria on Tuesday for the regular July Taylorville School Board meeting, all eager to hear plans from the architects working on the east wing rebuild.
Architechnics presented a prototype for the fine arts/tech/sports facility.
A few weeks ago, the architects met with various “players” in the build, like teachers and coaches, to look at each room individually and lay out specific criteria, all of which were taken into consideration during the design.
The presentation consisted of various drawings covering different perspectives of the project. The most in-depth schematics laid out the details for each area.
The mezzanine level, which connects to the already existing second floor of the school, contains a wrestling room and an elevated track in the field house area, as well as the TommyTV suite and storage rooms in the lobby area.
The performing arts center includes a large, two-level lobby with seating; an auditorium with 527 wide seats and a stage; storage rooms; dressing rooms with a makeup area; a scene shop; practice rooms; a renovated band room; a new tiered chorus room with an office and a storage area; and restrooms. On the outside of the building, the architects have planned a drive-up area for access to the shop.
The field house includes three basketball/volleyball courts, a weight room with a possible turf slip for sled training, large male and female locker rooms, restrooms, moveable and storable bleachers, and storage areas.
The TommyTV suite includes a recording studio, a control room with a working station, tables and chairs, a classroom, and various storage areas, some of which could be turned into additional classrooms if desired.
The classroom plan to be built onto the science wing includes two average-sized classrooms and a large special education area. The special education area will contain a classroom as well as a life skills setting and an accessible restroom.
Perhaps the most eye-catching segment of the presentation showed renderings of the exterior of the building from different angles, including a mainly glass entry and a graphic-covered north end of the gymnasium. THS lettering appears in several locations inside and outside the building.
Anticipated milestones for the build include: Drawings complete by December 2022; bids due by January/February 2023; construction starts by March/April 2023; and construction complete by August 2024. The team said they are on schedule so far.
The cost estimate portion of the presentation showed a predicted total cost of $16.9 million for the big-picture building. They also included a list of items to consider for cost reduction, like cutting the third court in the field house, simplifying the wall construction of the gymnasium, using cheaper materials for the auditorium walls, reducing the number of lockers, pulling the auditorium back to 475 seats, etc. They will continue to make adjustments to the facility as fundraising and discussions progress.
The architects predict the lifespan of this building to be at least 50 or 75 years, and the board wants to look into the far future for the build.
The board voted to move the prototype to the design development phase, which they approved unanimously.. They also considered and took action on the Construction Consultant Contracts for Services. The moved forward for everything except for civil engineering, all voting in agreement again. The bid for the civil engineering position opened again for other considerations.
The board covered several topics besides the building project. The meeting started with a moment of silence for neighboring school district Central A&M for their recent automobile accident before discussing communications.
During the communications portion, Superintendent Chris Dougherty reminded the board and the community that “COVID is surging once again in our school district” and mentioned plans to offer a vaccination clinic during registration.
The board unanimously approved the consent agenda and moved into old business (including the architect presentation) quickly.
Issues with transportation costs came into focus again, with old business agenda items including consideration and action on both the 2023 fiscal year amended bus contract and the white van leases, both through Durham. They voted to approve option one of working with Durham with bus driver starting pays at $17 to $21 per hour and to lease the white vans, all in agreement except for Rick Bryan.
The board unanimously approved an IESA application for cooperative team sportsmanship between TCUSD and Visionway, allowing younger Visionway cross-country athletes to work with the Taylorville teams earlier.
They also discussed an e-learning plan to utilize remote learning to avoid snow days in future years, a possibility brought to the board in light of the June dismissal this past school year because of excessive snow days used in February.
The board tabled the adoption of updated job descriptions for the district until the August meeting to allow members to look at the information in greater depth.
The board accepted a paper bid at a much higher price than previous years, as paper has nearly doubled in price. To end old business, the board approved the MOU for Teacher Evaluation.
For new business, the board considered a resolution for allowance of inter-fund transfers between the education fund, operation and maintenance fund, transportation fund, and working cash fund. All members approved.
In the superintendent report, Maintenance Director Steve Walters spoke about current building projects throughout the district. Some building updates include: Rain has pushed roofing projects back a bit, but most have been completed; lockers salvaged from the east wind have been redistributed throughout the school; summer cleaning is about 90 percent completed; and more.
Dougherty also reported a push to make some roads around the school one-way to improve safety. The district has also received access to the former CTI building, and everyone is planning for moving district offices over.
TommyTV live-streamed the full meeting, which remains available on their Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The meeting adjourned at 7:49 p.m.