Demolish or remodel?
After reading news accounts I am asking the question: Is the School Board going to recommend tearing down the Jr. High School building or remodeling?
If remodeling, the discussion should be how much does the current sound depressing room dividers weigh? More than a wall with studs on 2- or 4-foot centers and sound deadening material? If the noise has been disruptive year after year, perhaps the class needs to be moved.
The area east of the Library to the Home Ec room on the north side of the upstairs hall is engineered for solid walls and no dividers in classrooms. A suggestion might be to remodel the cafeteria. Moving the kitchen from its location beneath the area with the solid walls above--to below the classrooms with the dividers.
Therefore reinforcing the walls providing support for the classrooms above if needed. The east end of the building above the open porch area has solid walls with only two small room dividers how can it be better used to solve the problems?
It would be such a waste to tear down such a modern building that can serve the school district for many more years. The Board needs to get more competition than just one architect bid. Including an architect who has done a reuse on older building or historic preservation (if the building is over 50 years old it could qualify for future preservation or remodeling grants). Is the original architect still available, if so what would be their solution to remodeling of the building?
Is this really the time to build new, with the decreased farm economy and the State of Nebraska searching for drastic ways to reduce the budget and the closing of businesses laying off of employees?
If the decision of the School board is to build a new Jr. High school it should be brought to the voters of McCook to decide.
Bringing the issue to the voters, and abiding by their decision, will bring community support, promote buying local, and volunteerism.