Schools

Related Arts Project in the works at Cville high

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As Crawfordsville schools see renovation efforts winding down, the district now looks to improve arts-related infrastructure.

The current project, which mainly affected the high school but included minor projects at other buildings, began in December 2019 and utilized $10 million to improve security, classrooms, lockers, bathrooms, offices, entrances, athletic complexes and parking lots.

“It’s supposed to be done in April and most things are progressing along,” Ryker said. “There certainly will be plenty of items that just won’t be finished until probably the end of the school year and into the summer. It’s just the construction world that we live in.”

And now Ryker’s “construction board,” he joked Thursday during the district’s December meeting, is set to review the next effort: The $1.5 million Related Arts Project.

“It will be something a little bit different than we’ve done,” he added.

Ryker has overseen district-wide renovation projects for the past five years. A $5 million project for pool, roof and masonry work was completed in early spring. The upcoming Related Arts Project looks to improve or replace several pieces of equipment throughout the building and in the auditorium.

“Again ... this starts with deferred maintenance,” Ryker said. “We need to change the HVAC controls, and that’s very large. That’ll take a good chunk of it. Then we will continue with changing out lighting, ceiling tile, and painting throughout the related arts wing. Hopefully we will be able to do some lighting and controls and audio-visual in the auditorium.

The school may use an old-fashioned method of funding the project, as well.

“We’re actually to the point where we have some value to be able to do some general obligation bonds instead of having to lease out,” Ryker said.

Board members who have served several terms remember a time when the district sold various types of bonds. Now that those bonds are nearly paid in full, the school may look to sell more.

“How we finance the Related Arts Project — we will now not have to do a common school loan,” he explained. “We actually would have some of our own ability to sell bonds and not have to go through paying an agency. So that will be a little bit new.”

Ryker and Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling have met with bond counselors and financial advisors to work through the details, and hope to have plans for the board to approve come spring.

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