New Boyle Middle to include exterior courtyard

Published 11:44 am Saturday, March 17, 2018

Board approves purchasing audio and theatrical equipment

The new Boyle County Middle School will include a courtyard and theatrical equipment and lighting, after the two items were approved at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

The courtyard is estimated to cost $103,000 and the lighting and equipment is expected to cost $728,000.

Email newsletter signup

“On the theater lighting and audio, we discussed that at the working session last month … (Assistant Superintendent) David Young did a lot of investigation into that and we feel really good about the price, as well as the equipment going in there,” said Superintendent Mike LaFavers. “We don’t think you could do much better at all.”

LaFavers said if the board waited, the district would be responsible for getting the lighting and audio installed. In doing it this way, the contractor on the current project would take care of the installation.

The courtyard, he said, would basically finish out the project.

“At one point, a few months back, Mr. (Steve) Tamme (board member) said he would like to see us do the project as designed. Well, if you want to do that, pick up the courtyard,” LaFavers said. “The courtyard’s probably not a game-changer … It is a significant outdoor classroom.”

He said he could see the arguments for and against it.

Architect Tony Thomas with Clotfelter/Samokar said the plan for the courtyard includes electric outside for speakers, a curved limestone amphitheater, pavers, landscaping, sidewalks and more.

“Just to let you know what you’re getting for that $103,000,” said Thomas. “There could be a little bit of difficulty in trying to do it later if they construct the base bid right now.”

Principal Steve Karsner was asked how he felt about the courtyard. He told the board it would get a lot of use.

“How will it be used? That’s kind of the fun part about these spaces we’re designing … Right now, we have no outdoor learning space, whatsoever,” Karsner said. “This space can be used by virtually anyone.”

Mary Hall, coordinator for Gifted Education in the district, said she believed it would get a lot of use, too.

“I think we’ll fight over using it,” she said, laughing. “It will be such an accessible area.”

LaFavers said, “I think it’s going to be pretty awesome.”

Prior to Thursday night, the cost of the new middle school was about $34.8 million, including “soft costs,” such as project service fees.

LaFavers said the district had saved money on the bond sale — about $900,000 compared to what was expected. That would help offset the additional costs.

The board considered approving the installation of theater seats, which is expected to cost $100,000, but voted to reject that.

LaFavers told the board that the Boyle County Education Foundation is working on a fundraising plan involving the seats.

On Friday, District Communications Director Jennifer Broadwater said the foundation is in the beginning stages of planning a “Take a Seat” campaign and more details would be available soon.