September 20, 2008 in Voices

Budget-friendly remodel proposed

Maintenance director at Lakes Middle hoping to modify school one classroom at a time
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Instead of making do, Bryan Martin is hoping for a makeover.

The Coeur d’Alene School District’s maintenance director is proposing a remodel of Lakes Middle School, classroom by classroom.

Martin is asking the district’s long range planning committee to gives its blessing to his proposal to remodel one classroom at the school as a prototype, at a cost of about $23,000. If teachers approve of the design, Martin is hoping all 40 classrooms at Lakes can be remodeled.

“We went to the teachers and staff and asked them what the biggest issues were at Lakes Middle School,” Martin said. “The largest was the classrooms. That’s where the education is mainly going on is in the classrooms.”

The project could cost up to $2.32 million, he estimates, or about half of the money the school district has in its coffers from a 2002 School Facilities Plant Levy.

Originally, the district planned on replacing Lakes Middle School with levy funds, but overruns on other projects left the district short the cash needed to complete the project.

Voters rejected levies seeking to make up the difference.

If the long range planning committee and the school board approve of Martin’s proposal, he said his maintenance staff could immediately get to work on the prototype classroom.

Much, if not all of the work, could be done by his staff, he said. The work would be done as time and other duties allow, he said, possibly in as little as two months.

The idea is to have teachers use the classroom for some time to see if the design meets their approval, he said.

If it does, Martin proposes hiring an architect to remodel the remaining classrooms at a cost of about $32,000 to $58,000 per classroom.

The work would include new heating and ventilation systems, electrical upgrades, and replacing ceilings, cabinets, lighting fixtures, plumbing, doors, windows and floor coverings, along with painting and removing asbestos.

Any levy funds leftover could be used to revamp other areas of the school, Martin said.

The district’s long range planning committee meets Monday to consider the proposal.

Reach Taryn Hecker at 818-0054 or by e-mail at tarynh@spokesman.com.

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