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M-G approves next step in $5M project

BY Sara Barker - sbarker@chronicle-tribune.com

FAIRMOUNT -- At Madison-Grant Schools' board meeting Monday, beautifying the junior-senior high school was of upmost importance.

Board members gathered in the Administration Building to hear about proposed improvements worth $5 million to be made to the cosmetics of the school. They approved an advertisement for the project.

"With this one, we're going to be very cosmetic," assistant superintendent Steven Vore said.

This comes after the school corporation had begun structural improvements, like paving the parking lot and putting a new roof on the structure, which is currently covered by a large white tarp.

These cosmetic improvements include taking carpeting off of the walls, replacing ceilings, improving locker rooms and renovating the press box.

The rest of the roof will be completed with this new project, and the back parking lot will be paved, as well.

One change that is not purely cosmetic would be to move the high school's main office near the guidance office, something Vore said would make for a more secure school entrance.

If implemented, the entrance would allow visitors to buzz in and talk to a receptionist in a holding area instead of walking into the school.

Board members discussed what that would mean for the current space that was being used for an entryway. Since it is one of the main entrances of the school, it would need to be converted into a space people would want to see.

Though the board approved the proposed renovations, they did so still with questions about some of the items to be improved.

"I don't know if I'm thrilled about approving this now," board member Mary Jo Brunt said.

However, the board can make changes about a week after the approval for items they were initially unsure of.

Overall, the board saw the renovations as a positive for the district.

"I think our public area is really going to look nice," board member Katti Sneed said.

Vore agreed, saying these renovations will allow students to take pride in their school and their building.

Once the advertisement is finished, the school's architect will send it out to contractors and evaluate bids.

The board also discussed the possibility of leasing the administration building. There are already interested parties if the board chose to lease the building, though that project is still in early planning stages.

The next school board meetings are July 23 and Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. at the administration building.