High school remodel in the works

News

CERRO GORDO — Cerro Gordo High School was built 88-years ago and now school leaders say it’s time to make some changes. 

They’re asking voters to approve a tax hike Tuesday to help achieve their goals. The high school has kept up with necessary repairs, but what’s needed now is an upgrade to provide students with a newer, safer campus. 

Superintendent Brett Robinson says the last time they had any additions was 2001; 16 years ago.

It’s been a long time since the school has been remodeled and, while students may stay up-to-date on their homework, Robinson says the school is overdue on its upkeep.

“Every 45 minutes throughout the day, our students pass between the three buildings, and connecting the two buildings would certainly give the superintendent peace of mind that they’re more safe and secure throughout the day.”

Robinson says the new improvements will bring the school together. There are several things on the to-do list.

“New classrooms; there will be a new kitchen, a new commons area, a new cafeteria, a new regulation-sized second gym, a renovated old gym into an auditorium.”

The school was built in 1929 and, while it may be old, much of the original structure is still intact. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be updated.

“Our student’s deserve 21st Century learning environments just like students in other surrounding communities have been able to get.”

They’re hoping to make classrooms more accessible to handicapped students by adding elevator systems. They also want to add climate controls in the gym.

The $8 million bond referendum would cover the costs of these renovations. But if it gets turned down by voters, they won’t be able to go through with the plans.

“The board would have to sell some health life safety bonds. What that would do is make all the necessary repairs and bring everything up to code but it would not improve the learning environment or upgrade security in the ways we’re seeking to do.”

Robinson says, if the measure gets passed in the election, this will be the biggest renovation the school has ever had. If the plan gets the green light, planning and design for the renovations will begin in January 2018 and construction will start soon after. 

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