Mitchell School Dist. Planning For The Future
by Jill Johnson
November 19, 2012 6:05 PM
A lot of changes have already taken place in Mitchell. Many of them, surrounding the town's high school.
But what you may not know is, the school plans on doing a lot more in the years to come.
Last year, they made renovations to their high school football field. This summer, they upgraded their high school gym. But Mitchell School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Graves says there's a lot more that needs to be done to their 50-year-old school.
Mitchell School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Graves said, "The boiler system is getting a bit older, it's rather inefficient, some of that can be replaced. The whole HVAC system is becoming increasingly difficult and the fine arts area is pretty poor."
So, the district is planning for the future. They have plans to build a new high school by the year 2025.
To replace the current high school, with the same amount of square footage, it would cost around $35 to $40 million at present value. But they have a plan to reduce the cost by taking advantage of buildings already next to the school.
Graves said, "We've recently purchased the MTI (Mitchell Technical Institute) north campus starting next year for what will be used for all of our CTE programs, Current Technical Ed and also our second chance high school so those will be removed from the current high school.
The district is also looking at putting in a new fine arts center, which would remove even more square footage from the building. And would reduce the cost of the new school by 40 to 50 percent.
"We reduce the cost, we get some money in the bank, we should be able then by 2025 to put up that new high school at a very reasonable cost," said Graves.
As of right now, the plan is to have the new facility where their practice field is right now, behind the current school. That way, the students will get to stay right where they are, while the new one is being built. This will enable their high school to grow right along with the community.
"If you don't have good schools people are reluctant to come to your communities so you've got to have good schools, good facilities, the whole works," said Graves.
The district is also looking at blocking off the street that runs between the football field, the Mitchell Technical Institute building and the current high school so students can walk safely to and from the facilities.
They won't begin looking at a possible bond issue until a few years before the school is to be built.