SMITH-GREEN SCHOOLS: Building plan discussed by board

CHURUBUSCO — “Just bite the bullet and complete this entire project,” said Mel Egolf, former Smith-Green Community school board member and Noble County farmer.That was said during a public work session Monday night in Churubusco.Members of the board were discussing with the public the proposed building plan, presented to them by the Strategic Planning Committee of the school.Superintendent Steve Darnell heads that committee and explained the process of the plan.“We met for five months,” said Darnell.“In that time we discussed items and sent out a survey to our staff, the parents and the community. The results of that survey came down to 27 total needs. Then we went to Moake Park Architecture firm and together we divided these needs into three lists.“The first list is items that need to be done as soon as possible. The second list are items that we should do and the third list are items that we’d like to do. The total project would cost around $6.7 million,” said Darnell.Greg Wehling, vice president of Moake Park, said the cafeteria is the biggest concern and largest expense.“In the existing cafeteria we will renovate the existing space,” said Wehling.“We’ll renovate and add on three classrooms into a new elementary warming kitchen and cafeteria,” said Wehling.The existing cafeteria serves all of the students at SGCS and is 5,000 square feet. The renovation will cost between $100,000 to $165,000. Allowance for a second line (including new equipment) will cost $50,000.The new elementary cafeteria will cost between $375,000 and $489,000. Adding five new classrooms on the south side of the building will cost between $875,160 and $1,034,280.