GARNER – Garner ISD board of trustees approved an interim agreement for master planning with Architects Rabe and Partners for $28,000 on Thursday evening.
The agreement covers architectural services regarding a secondary campus from now until the board decides whether to call a bond election, Superintendent Rebecca Hallmark said. This is not the full contract, which would cover the full design and building costs. If a bond is called and does not pass, GISD would not have to pay this cost twice, though building prices would need to be reassessed.
Also during the meeting, trustees met with architect Dale Rabe and the Citizens Advisory Committee about the preliminary design ideas for the new secondary campus. Committee members asked questions and talked about the design elements with Rabe, Hallmark and trustees.
“You got to start somewhere,” Rabe said about the initial sketches. “You got to see if things fit, and you have to see if you have room for growth.”
The sketches will develop with more detail, and then Rabe will do a schematic design to provide a cost estimate, he said. The plan is expected to be a combination of constructing new spaces and renovating current areas.
Initial ideas include a new building east of the current campus, added parking west and northeast of the current campus, renovating the nearby pavilion into an indoor play area and converting the current gym into a cafeteria/auditorium. The new building would currently have eight regular classrooms, a science lab, fine arts class space in the gym, a special education classroom and teacher workroom.
The secondary campus gym could be designed with moveable bleachers for volleyball and basketball competitions, and when the bleachers are retracted, it opens up space for more basketball/volleyball courts, Rabe said. The spare courts could work for practice and P.E. classes.
“Nobody gets their feelings hurt if we have to wad up this paper and throw it in the trash and start with a new one,” Rabe said. “I’m trying to get the biggest bang out of the bucks, and we’re also trying to make it as efficient as possible and double use the spaces so they are constantly used and they’re efficient and we don’t have to be redundant and spending extra money.”
District administration and trustees are also considering an agricultural facility. Hallmark said they are considering where such a facility could be located and how much it would cost. A bus barn is also being considered as an optional facility.
“Those are things he can go ahead and do in this master planning-type phase, and then we can decide what we can afford and what the community is willing to do at this time,” Hallmark said.
GISD will host a community meeting with the architects at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the District Conference Room. The board is scheduled to consider more detailed plans on Thursday, and the Citizens Advisory Committee will meet on Feb. 4 to consider a recommendation on the project. Trustees would need to call for a bond election by no later than Feb. 14.
If the board called for a May bond election and it passes, then Rabe said he would be able to deliver a building by June 2022.