Classrooms, track, auditorium among proposed facility upgrades in Lisbon
January 11, 2018 · Nathan Countryman
The Lisbon School Board is moving forward with a bond vote Feb. 6.
Voters will be asked three questions, which would raise funds for classroom improvements, a new track and a new auditorium. In order to raise the $9 million needed for all the proposed improvements, all three questions will require more than 60 percent approval.
The Lisbon Facilities Study Committee suggested the school improvements, paring an initial list of 35 items down to the items they deemed needed improvements. The committee met from late June until the end of November, when they passed their recommendation onto the Lisbon School Board.
The district contracted with Emergent Architecture to develop plans for the recommended facility improvements. A community meeting at the school is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. to present and explain the plans. The school will be the site of a satellite voting station Jan. 25 from 1 to 7 p.m.
Question 1: Classrooms
The first question on the ballot asks: Shall the Lisbon Community School District be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $4.2 million to provide funds to build an addition to and improve, remodel, repair, furnish and equip the Lisbon Community School building.
A "yes" to this question allows the district to maintain the current debt-related levy rate of $2.70 per $1,000 assessed taxable value, which would generate roughly $4.2 million over the next 20 years.
The funds raised by that levy would be used for following improvements to the school:
• School classrooms upgrades - $1.92 million
• Bleachers for the Lisbon Early Childhood Center (LECC) gym - $40,000
• Furniture and equipment - $230,000
• Replacing the Old Gym floor and revamping the stage - $80,000
• Adding a play room to the LECC in order to convert the current LECC gym into a competitive gym - $410,000.
• Soft costs and contingency - $1.21 million (for all portions of project. This amount could be lower if auditorium and track not included).
If only the first question passes, the district would not necessarily spend the entire $4.2 million.
School buildings upgrade
Included in the $1.92 million classroom upgrades are improvements to much of the middle school, high school and former elementary wings of the building. The middle school wing was originally constructed in 1955, and includes the cafeteria and several classrooms. It was used for elementary students until the new elementary wing was built in 2003.
Classrooms in the high school wing have seen minimal improvements since their construction in 1964. Classrooms in the high school will see some of their sizes reduced, especially on the second floor, to make room for the balcony of the new auditorium and increase storage.
During tours in October, members of the facilities committee noted issues they found, such as only one fumigation hood in the science classroom and inefficiencies with the gas taps and sinks. Acoustics are an issue in the science room as well, with concrete ceilings and tile floors.
The building upgrades also include updating the windows and lighting in the classrooms and hallways to more energy efficient appliances, and installing energy efficient heating and air conditioning elements.
The old gymnasium was built in 1938. A combination gym and auditorium, the stage was built to accommodate roughly 30 students. Lisbon's high school enrollment was 67 then.
Students use the old gym, the Lions' Den and the LECC gym during the school day.
The $80,000 would be used to revamp the old gym's floor and the stage.
LECC multipurpose room
The Lisbon Early Childhood Center gymnasium is used by preschoolers during the day, and may be used by the school and community during evening and weekend hours. The gym, which was constructed for the preschool and younger crowd to be used as a multipurpose activity room to house their indoor activities and play, was built without bleachers.
The facilities study committee saw a need for bleachers, which would allow the LECC gym to be used by Lisbon Parks and Recreation Department and the middle school for competitive events.
Continuing to use the gym for middle school competitions, will cause scheduling conflicts with the LECC from 3:30 to 6 p.m.
The facilities committee proposes using $410,000 to build a 2,200-square-foot open space gymnasium, built to the east of the current LECC. The goal is to equip the space for preschoolers with features like synthetic floors, climbing walls and other amenities.
Equipment for the classrooms and soft costs of the construction comprise the rest of the roughly $3.1 million costs for school improvements on the project.
Questions 2 & 3: Track, auditorium
Questions 2 and 3 ask voters to increase the levy rate from $2.70 to $4.05 per $1,000 and would allow the district to borrow up to $5.01 million more in general obligation bonds.
A "yes" to questions 1, 2 and 3 would raise more than $9 million over the next 20 years. The added funds would be used for:
• 350-seat auditorium - $3.11 million
• Eight-lane track - $2 million
• Soft costs and contingency - $1.21 million (for all portions of project)
The proposed auditorium would seat 350 people on the ground floor, with a potential expansions of bleachers in the balcony for 150 more seats.
"The auditorium space can double as a classroom to be used by teachers and students when the auditorium is not in use," said Nick Hildebrandt of Emergent Architecture at a school board work session discussing the matter in December.
The costs of the removable seats for the auditorium are not included in the costs of the auditorium.
Part of the auditorium addition to the high school includes a more secure entrance to the high school wing of the building. In addition, the auditorium would feature a more handicap accessible entry for spectators and students.
Hildebrandt suggested a pit orchestra could use the balcony space.
The plan helps address the current lack of dressing rooms and would include more up-to-date lights and a sound system.
Lisbon is currently one of four schools in the Tri-Rivers Conference without its own track.
Having a track at the school would allow for safer practices for athletes, as well as the ability to hold home track meets, facilities committee members said.
Building an eight-lane track requires relatively extensive changes to the athletic fields west of the school.
The lights and visitors stands would be pushed out to the west and onto the current practice field. The field would be built up with fill dirt and extend an additional 60 to 80 feet.
A new practice field would be built to the north of the track. This field also would be used for shot put and discus.
The plan requires acquiring additional land, including a house to the north of the current football field.
School board member Marc Whitman asked at the work session if additional parking could be built further to the west.
Hildebrandt said he foresaw an issue with the proximity of Hwy. 30 egresses and ingresses to the school's entrance.