CLINTON — As construction on the new Clinton Middle School continues to move forward, the Clinton Community School District is looking ahead to the project’s next stage.
Several community members and Clinton School District staff met Monday as part of the district’s facilities task force to discuss a nearly $6 million auditorium addition to the mutli-million dollar middle school facility.
“I think it will be a centerpiece for our community,” Clinton School District Superintendent Deb Olson said.
Project architect Dave Brighton presented to the group conceptual plans of where the new 600-seat auditorium will be in conjunction to the new middle school and Randy Fuller of Estes Construction provided an opinion of probable costs.
According to Fuller’s estimates, construction would cost approximately $5.3 million and other costs including design, testing and soil boring would be an additional $446,474.
“Keep in mind this is all very preliminary,” Brighton said. “When you look at the costs per square foot it seems pretty high, but this is an expensive space to build. Auditoriums typically are.”
In order to fund the new addition, a community group of 15 members known as the Clinton Fine Arts Association has already started fundraising for the project.
“We’re going to try to do for fine arts what Restoring Royalty did for sports,” Clinton Fine Arts member Dave Sivright said.
The facilities task force group also discussed on Monday another project that would benefit from the Clinton Fine Arts fundraising efforts — a fine arts wing addition to Clinton High School.
Although the middle school auditorium project was strongly favored by the task force committee, the opportunity to do both intrigued some group members.
“I guess I can support either one,” Clinton Community School Board president Jim McGraw said. “We made a commitment to improve Clinton High School and I think we did; we didn’t finish it and this would be the finishing aspect of it.”
The possibility of the Clinton Fine Arts Association raising $12 to $13 million to fund both projects seemed unattainable to Olson, so she encouraged the group to move forward on the auditorium addition, giving specifics of what they want to see for the new facility.
“In the best case scenario we would do both but I guess at this point in time I’d like to see the auditorium move forward,” Olson said. “However, that needs to be a decision based upon where (the Clinton Fine Arts Association) are at.”
With the decision to proceed, the group will now present it to the Clinton Community School Board in the hope that the project will be under way by 2016.