Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Graner presented the estimated costs of the middle school renovation project to a the Board of Education Wednesday.
Graner said that the goals of the project are to reorganize the middle school to include the sixth grade, to improve instructional spaces, include a kitchen and address security concerns.
The building was built in 1970, and there are very few walls as it was designed as an open space school.
"We know that our building, because it doesn't have interior walls, is a real security risk," Graner said.
If approved by the voters, the building will be "renovated as new". The plans call for an an addition but the rest will also be changed significantly.
The addition adds six science labs, additional classrooms, tech ed and art areas, and the media center.
The current media center would be turned into an outdoor courtyard and classrooms would be built along those new walls. And, the entrance will be a little different. Visitors will be buzzed into a secured vestibule and will need to talk to an office staff member before being allowed into the main building
Much of the funding depends on the closure of Ledyard Center School. Graner said he would move the pre-school currently located in Gallup Hill School to the new middle school so that GHS will have room to accept students who would normally go to LCS. The pre-school, which is set to accommodate 100 children, will maximize the state-funded reimbursement.
The new building would easily be able to accommodate the expected 550 students. It will be fitted with new plumbing, electrical and heating, etc.
"It will be brought up to code in every way," Graner said.
- The total cost is estimated to be $45,000,000
- The state will reimburse the Town of Ledyard $28,000,000 (at the current reimbursement rate)
- Town of Ledyard's share is $17,000,000
Graner said the mill rate would go up by about two-thirds (.66) and the average homeowner may have to pay $100 more a year. But with the closing of LCS, he expects $475,500 in staff savings and $30,000 a year in utilities savings.
Graner said there is some additional classroom space in the proposal, which allows Ledyard grow.
Graner then presented the board with anticipated building costs of the Ledyard Center School if it is not closed:
Roof replacement: 1,000,000 (although, state will reimburse the town for 66 percent)
Total $1,375,000 (before reimbursement)
The plan was approved unanimously.
"We wanted to make sure this was a facility that would stand the test of time and not be extravagant and certainly be affordable, said school board member Mimi Peck-Llewellyn. "We know that the school system is exceedingly important. We want to be able to put Ledyard in the best possible light and woo new people to our community."
The Town Council will see the proposal and cost estimates Wednesday, March 13.