Renovating the auditorium at Sunset Avenue School would not only benefit Clinton City Schools, but is an idea board members say would be an asset to the community. A proposal and cost estimate were presented to the board last week.
During a board retreat held last year, potential capital outlay projects were discussed, and the auditorium renovations were one of the ideas mulled by board members. CCS Superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount asked Randy Baker with Pinnacle Architecture to draw up plans and determine a cost estimate for the project.
At last Thursday afternoon’s work session, Baker presented his findings to the board at a price tag of nearly $2 million. The proposed renovations would include new seating, carpeting, lighting, sound equipment and sound barriers, as well as bathroom remodeling. All changes would meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“You guys are very fortunate to have an auditorium of this nature,” Baker stated to the board. “Most schools today can’t afford to build anything like what you have here.”
The outside structure and foundation of the building, Baker said, are in excellent condition and would not require any type of work or remodeling. The inside, mainly the aesthetic features, are what board members should be mostly concerned with addressing, Baker added.
The upgrade would include the addition of covered seats, but reduce the seating capacity by 3 percent to 650 seats. Projected changes also include new carpeting in the aisles, a refinished platform and the addition of a lift at the stage area.
A completely new structure, Baker explained, would cost in the neighborhood of $5.5 to $6 million, but isn’t necessary for Clinton City Schools to consider.
“The building you have there now is classic,” Baker said.
The $1,199,937 price tag left board members with a shocked look and questions for Baker.
“When the board asked about re-doing the auditorium, we didn’t think about a $1.9 million project,” board chair Georgina Zeng shared.
Sunset Avenue’s auditorium is frequently rented to the public for different events. Board vice-chair Carol Worley said she thought the idea should be taken into consideration when tossing the decision around.
“We rent this building all the time,” Worley said. “This is what the public sees. We want people to see our best.”
Baker informed the board that the work could be done in stages, but recommended the electrical work and lighting be done before any other work. ADA requirements would only begin to apply when seating and platform work is done.
“The way I envisioned this was a multi-year plan,” Blount said. “I asked Mr. Baker to get us costs for doing the job as turn-key or taking it in phases.”
For now, Baker’s presentation was just an informational proposal offered to give a cost estimate for the board.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.