District eyeing new music building | NevadaAppeal.com

District eyeing new music building

Steve Ranson
Students from Kieran Kalt's class at Lahontan Elementary School opened the school board meeting on Thursday with the national anthem.

The Churchill County School District trustees took the first step at their Thursday meeting to examine the first stages in constructing a new music building at the high school.

Paul Eskeldon, project manager and consultant for Parson Construction, said the intent is to remodel the existing building and make the current band/music room into a prop storage area for the drama program.

Eskeldon said the district has used the money fro a bond that voters approved in November 2008 to upgrade existing buildings.

“If you walk through the schools, I think you’ll agree with me we got the schools back to where they should be kept,” he said.

As for the current building that houses the music room and theater, Eskeldon said the best long-range plan is build a new music room using existing money. From the design process to the completed building, he estimates the total cost will come in at about $972,500. He said the building would follow the same design pattern as the other additions to the high school. He said the design phase could begin in November or December and construction would commence in June after students leave for the summer.

Music and band teacher Tom Fleming said removing the risers would make the building more suitable for multi-use activities, for example, choreography.

“It will be roughly the same size of the current music room but without the risers which would decrease the construction costs,” Eskeldon said.

Rather than vote on beginning the entire project, trustees decided to look at the first stage — design — and then meet again to discuss construction.

Eskeldon also discussed a proposal to add a secondary driveway into the student parking lot, this one from South Taylor Street south of C Bar R. The first driveway is on Sheckler Road and was included when the high school relocated to its present site in 1988.

According to Eskeldon, the driveway would be required to have curbs and sidewalks; however, the obstacle with a new driveway is that plans and right-of-way must go through the Nevada Department of Transportation since the driveway connects to U.S. Highway 95.

Superintendent Sandra Sheldon referred to this as a priority project. The Master Plan Task Force had previously given this project a priority designation because of safety.

Trustee Greg Koenig said it’s imperative the district work with NDOT.

By a 6-0 vote, trustees approved to move forward with this driveway project.

Trustees also approved $50,000 for a new shot put and discus area that was uprooted by the new auxiliary gym construction.

“It needs to be done by January,” Eskeldon said, citing the beginning of track season in early March.

In other business —

Kieran Kalt’s first-grade class from Lahontan Elementary School sung the national anthem as part of their opening program for the audience and trustees.

Trustees recognized Bob Adams, retired general manager from CC Communications, for his years of service on the Bond Oversight Committee.

Sheldon said grants to keep personnel at FRIENDS is no longer available to the school district; as a result, two positions — the coordinator position and the differential response advocate — will be reduced in force (RIF) within the next several weeks.

Trustees are also suspending the Bond Oversight Committee since members have completed the mission of reviewing the disbursement of bond funds.

Prior the business portion of the school board meeting, Jim Falk, a concerned citizen and advocate for repeal of Common Core Standards, voiced his displeasure that only one trustee attended a symposium on data mining. He said no one from the district office or the other six trustees attended. He said only 32 people attended despite a huge promotion effort.

Falk read from a letter when addressing trustees.

“But lack of interest among the board members, teachers and staff of Churchill County School District in differing views on what is being done currently in the name of education baffles me,” he said.

Falk said he feels the exchange of idea is stifled in the schools and that teachers are afraid to express their feeling for fear of their jobs. He claims the school board and district are not opposing program that are unconstitutionally imposed on them and that they indoctrinate rather than educate.

Amber Sanchez spoke next about the symposium.

“If Jim put on something like this, you have the decency to show up,” she said.

Sanchez also asked Board President Ron Evans to be placed on a future agenda to discuss Common Core Standards.