The Springville Griffith Board of Education this week got its first glimpse of plans for an upcoming capital project, which includes a new high school gymnasium.
Architect Scott Jones, of Gordon W. Jones Associates, said that a completed building condition survey totaled more than $25 million in building needs. A separate, somewhat overlapping compilation of wish-list items from the district was slightly lower.
Most notable, he said, is the current high school gymnasium, which is so old the court size no longer meets regulations nor does the clearance area around its perimeter. However, for a new gym to be covered by state aid – 84 percent of the project cost in Springville’s case – the older gym can no longer exist.
Scott suggested that the current gymnasium be turned into a two-story media center while repurposing the current media center into administrative offices.
The next step for the district, the architect said, is for a district committee to determine project priorities.
In other matters, board members debated the protocol of individual members visiting district schools.
Board member Joan Kelly told the board she visited two elementary buildings and the high school and noted several items of concern.
She promptly followed up with principals, the superintendent and, in one case, the maintenance department about having the issues addressed, she said.
Board member Jon Einarsson responded critically, warning Kelly in advance that she would likely be offended by what he would say, but assuring her his prepared comments were made prior to her report.
“I did research, and no single board member can act as the board, and individual board members have no more right than any other community member,” he said.
Kelly shot back, “For you to make a statement, to make the assumption, to have the gall to suggest that on a walk-through I’m telling staff what to do.”
Board President Delia Bonenberger said Einarsson should have asked for the topic to be placed on the agenda. He said he had asked weeks ago, but it was never done. Bonenberger said she misunderstood his request and told the board clerk to have the matter on the next agenda for discussion.