Exeter sets up series of meetings

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Exeter R-VI School District has scheduled a series of community meetings during the month of March to help district patrons understand a proposed master building plan that will guide the school's growth over the next 10 years.

The first informational meeting will be held on March 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the school. A free dessert supper will be served in the gym commons area and a preview of the master building plan will be presented. Feedback and suggestions from the community on the district's plan will be welcomed, according to Superintendent Tina Nolan.

Additional meetings will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on March 15 and from 1 to 5 p.m. on March 16. These forums will coincide with parent-teacher conferences.

Snacks will be provided in the cafeteria and possible floor plans will be available for review. Once again, the district will be seeking patrons' input on the plans.

The final community meeting will be held on March 31 and will include a free chili supper in the cafeteria. The event will begin with a performance by kindergarten through 12th grade students at 5 p.m. This will be followed by an architectural presentation of the proposed building project, which will include a three-dimensional model and computer-generated tours of the proposed project.

"I would like for our patrons to follow the process by attending all three meetings," said Superintendent Tina Nolan. "These meetings are being held to help the community understand the process that has taken place to create the master building plan and what we hope to accomplish with the bond issue and how it will serve the community and the school."

Brandon Dake, of Dake Wells Architecture, is currently working on schematic drawings to help area residents visualize the proposed building plans. The drawings are being based on information gathered by the Exeter School District's master planning committee as well as input provided through community surveys.

According to Nolan, the master plan will be completed in two phases.

The first phase will provide six new classrooms and a new multipurpose building that could double as a cafeteria and an auditorium facility. These additions would be accom-plished by constructing a two-story building in the middle of campus and renovating the current cafeteria to add four classrooms.

In the second part of the building plan, the district would add six more classrooms, a performance gymnasium and a new high school entrance including new centrally located administrative offices.

Based on preliminary cost estimates, the entire master plan could be constructed for around $4.5 million, although the second phase of the project would not be started until at least five years from now.

The district has voted to place a $1.1 million bond issue on the April ballot to finance the first phase of the plan.

"Again, we hope all area residents will make plans to attend these community meetings," Nolan added.

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