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Community invited to discuss school renovation plans

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

The community is invited to a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in the Cartmell Elementary media center to discuss plans in the works to renovate and expand the school.

Ron Murrell of Ross Tarrant Architects in Lexington has been working with a committee made up of teachers, staff and administrators at the school to explore options for adding to the building. The architect group has worked with the board on several projects in the district, including security improvements at schools.

The Board of Education on Feb. 12 approved the project applicaton form, called a BG-1, that outlines the project for the state Education Department. The plan shows the total estimated cost at $8.093 million, with nearly $7 million of that being actual construction costs for a proposed 44,070-square-foot school.

The project is “a work in progress,” Murrell said, adding that the building committee is in the process of determining program needs at the school, which will include grades three, four and five.. “It’s like a Rubik’s Cube on steroids.”

Murell hopes to have a final report of what the committee wants for the building for board approval at its March 12 meeting.

“It’s challenging, but it’s also an opportunity to fix things on the campus,” he said, such as traffic flow when students are dropped off in the mornings and picked up in the afternoon. Eventually, Murrell said he hopes to have two or three preminary designs to share with the community and, ultimately, put before the board for a vote.

The proposed timeline shows construction starting in January 2010 and completion in April 2011.