Mt. Vernon Register-News

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February 7, 2014

Board debates new school cuts

(Continued)

The most heavily debated reductions Thursday were the football field and the theater.

Eliminating the field would save more than $950,000.

With the theater, MVTHS officials are weighing two main options at this point.

One is to just build the shell of the theater, with an unfinished interior, which would save $1.795 million.

The second option is to build a “hybrid” theater with some of the interior completed, which would make the facility functional for theater practices but not actual productions. This alternative would save $1.250 million.

Some questioned Thursday whether it was wise to build a non-functional theater shell when that funding could be used for the football field.

Mary Beth Mezo, dramatics director for MVTHS, said if the shell is not built now, there would be no chance of having a new theater in the future.

“I do firmly believe that if this structure doesn’t go up at all, we’re never getting this structure, ever,” Mezo said. “It’s about doing what’s best for the kids and making as many things available to them as possible.”

The board held off on approving the cost reductions and scope changes Thursday so more detailed budget information could be acquired first. Now, the approval will likely take place at another special MVTHS Board meeting set for 5 p.m. Monday.

At this point, the district is planning to rebid all of the work categories for the new school’s construction, except for three that will not undergo any scope changes. These categories are earthwork, asphalt and ceramics.

The board plans to award the low bids for these three categories at Monday’s meeting.

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