The Shelbyville school board was not in the mood to hold much back during a recent meeting when it came to the auditorium renovation project. They gave Superintendent Shane Schuricht the nod to start taking bids for a state-of-the-art auditorium.
Last year, the teachers and staff were most in favor of doing something to renovate the auditorium. Since that was talked about, donations from the community have poured in.
The basic renovation was to replace the seats and make everything less cramped and comfortable for students and especially adult patrons at events. Plans were to redo the floors, redo the carpet runners in the aisles and paint the entire auditorium.
Hopes were to have enough money to replace the lighting and do some acoustical improvements. Higher estimates include technology upgrades that would make the auditorium state of the art.
Shelbyville High School Principal Kyle Ladd said donations for the auditorium renovation have reached in excess of $107,000 since November, and more donations are coming every week.
“We still have some cash coming in,” Ladd said. “Some expected contributions have been tabled until organizations have their next board meetings. We have talked to the city and there are some potential funds available through the TIF district. It all depends on what we want, good, better, or best.”
The school just raised $5,000 with the recent Daddy/Daughter dance. A Mommy/Son event and other events are also on the calendar.
Shuricht reported that they had earmarked $200,000 in capital improvements for this school year (2019-2020).
“After the asbestos abatement that money would be gone, and the only other obligation would be tile replacement (about $50,000),” Schuricht said. “If we do another $200,000 for capital improvements for the next year (2020-2021), we can do with it what we want.”
Every board member that spoke, indicated that they thought it is time for the best, when it comes to the auditorium.
“I think we go top notch,” said board member Gary Hayden.
“It’s been 50 years, we need to improve it for the next 50 years,” said member Ellen Trainor. “It is a fantastic opportunity to give our students the pre-college experience, a lecture hall experience. That’s a culture change.”
New board member Keith Boehm asked if the auditorium would be available to the community for events.
“It will be a space for community special events and we can use it to welcome industry to the district,” Ladd said.
“We need to budget the funds and do it right,” Boehm said.
Schuricht said that time is of the essence to get the project bid and finished this summer, while school is out.
“So are you O.K. with the higher number, $271,000?” Schuricht asked.
The consensus was to go for it. Schuricht planned to start soliciting bids even as more donations and funds are being raised.
Ladd was encouraged by the board’s support for the project.
“In recognition of the overwhelming community support for the auditorium renovation initiative, the Shelbyville school board voted to move forward with the project,” Ladd said. “It will be a state-of-the-art facility. As a K-12 space, the auditorium will host a wide variety of school and community events and activities.”
The fundraising effort remains in place and will conclude at the end of April.
“Thus far, Shelbyville High School has now raised $109,000 thanks to the benevolence and generosity of our many partners in education,” Ladd said. “District funds will be used to help push the project to completion and to help ensure that the SHS auditorium serves as a quality representation of our school and community.”
Completion of the auditorium is planned for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.