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Pittsburg Schools Facilities Committee Gathers Public Input on P - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg Schools Facilities Committee Gathers Public Input on Plans to Expand High School and Create 5/6 Center

Updated:
           The Pittsburg school district reports a surge in population and a need for more space.

            A facilities committee is holding a meeting at six o'clock tonight for public input on two proposals that would make some major changes at the high school and middle school.

Fifth graders currently fill a classroom at George Nettles elementary.  But with growing numbers in kindergarten and no room to add on to the landlocked school, officials are considering creating space by moving them to a 5th- 6th grade center at the front of the old middle school on Broadway.  

Superintendent Destry Brown leads the facilities committee and says, "It would help with a lot of overcrowding and we would only be adding to one place." He adds, "We have grown about four hundred kids in the last five years and so because of that growth we are really busting at the seams."

The superintendent says most of the old middle school hasn't been used for nearly fifteen years and renovating it would cost more than demolishing and building new.

Brown says, "Renovating's going to be very expensive. We'd basically have to gut that building start over."

           It would take knocking holes in some walls to remove old heating systems and to fill in an old swimming pool that now sits in the basement  with muddy water. The auditorium is too small for all middle school students and has outdated wiring. Any construction would make it so the building would need to be brought up to code.

          Not enough space in the auditorium is also an issue at the high school.  There the facilities committee proposes turning that into a cafeteria because right now students eat in the commons area and the kitchen would expand to the band room.  A new auditorium would come with a fine arts addition.

The theatre instructor, Greg Shaw says it will benefit many students, "In the fine arts performing arts aspect of our school approximately fifty percent of the kids are involved in one or more of those programs."

And science rooms would be remodeled to create space and update equipment.

Science teacher Stuart Perez says, "The gas we have now is turned off so we don't use that. We use portable burners which cause a problem in themselves.  We don't have proper fume hoods in our classrooms so  that would help."

Building new at the middle school could cost approximately thirty-two million dollars  while high school additions and changes could cost twenty-eight million. But state aid is available.

Brown says, "Because of an  equity lawsuit, in Pittsburg we get forty-five percent  of any new building project paid for by the state."

Brown says it's up to the community to determine which plans it can afford.

           After getting public input this evening the facilities committee will make a recommendation to the school board. It will decide what would go on the ballot for a bond issue possibly in the spring.

The district has reports on population trends and building information as it pertains to accessibility, age and condition at the following link. Click here
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