"There will always be leaks with the current type of roof due to the constant heat and cold expansion," Drury said. "Eventually it is going to completely ruin this building and we will never be able to build something like this again so we need to preserve it.'
BWA's Clarence Williams said that if the board decideds to procede with the project, it would take about three weeks to get the drawings ready for spec, another three weeks for the bids and about another four months to get the work done. It was also noted that the work would not interfere with the school year because the work would all be done on the outside of the building.
After the board decided to table the matter, BWA then presented their ideas for window replacement on the Cletus B. Street Fieldhouse. Their basic proposal was to take out the windows at the top of the building, replacing them with colored metal panels, and replacing the bottom windows with glass blocks. Board members also tabled this item after saying that they wanted to see samples of the materials, the colors available for use and possibly photos of other schools where this type of material was used. Cost for this project was estimated at $115,730.
Drury told board members that he would like each of them to see him individually before the May board meeting to discuss these matters, as well as the proposed renovations to the main Altus High School facility.
BWA presented their ideas for upgrading the main AHS school building to include adding a new wing that would house 14 new classrooms, turn the home-ec/science area in the northwest area of the school into a two-floor-high media center and turning the old gym on the southwest corner of the building into more classrooms. There would also be upgrades to the school's plumbing and electrical system, completely gutting and redoing the bathrooms, painting and placing windows. Cost of the project to upgrade the 1930's building was estimated at $9,347,605 today, or $10,656,270 in the summer of 2008.
The proposed renovations would basically put all of the students under one roof with the exception of ROTC and the Ag Department, while at the same time make more room for students who are at times confined to very small classrooms.
"It's not for the superintendent to make this kind of decision," said Drury. "Or even the board, but it is for the community to decide."
Options for funding the project was then presented by former Altus School administrator Dale Kirby who now works for BWA.
"One is to use a multiple series of bonds for an unlimited amount of money using a trust authority to
generate the money needed with revenue bonds, something at the school cannot do," Kirby said. "What would happen in this case is that you would in turn lease it from the trust authority, taking those bonds to 'pay rent' on that facility - basically a rent-to-own situation. Then it would be deeded back to you when it is paid off" he explained. Kirby explained that when this method is used, the school would be paying two debt services, but with the cost of inflation, it still might be the best way to go. He then told the group about a standard lease/purchase option, but explained that only about 60 percent of a building can be leased, leaving 40 percent for the school to come up with up front.
Then he talked about a sales tax option, maybe with the city of Altus. He estimated that about $900,000 a year might be generated by such a tax. He also said that a real estate trust with the sales tax could also be done. It was noted that not all of the renovation suggestions given had to be done and the board could pick and choose what was to be done.
"But with a building that is obviously near and dear to your hearts, you want to keep it up," Williams said.
Williams noted that if the full plan was going to be done, that it would be best to build the new wing first so that student who got displaced during the renovation of the other part of the building would have somewhere to go. He said that it would take a year to 15 months to complete the new wing.
"You can figure on 12 percent inflation a year, or the cost of the project going up one percent for every month this pushed out," Williams pointed out.
Although the cost of the proposed renovations would be around $10 million, BWA said that building a complete new facility would cost around $18 million or more.
Board members then discussed district policies and procedures which included efforts to reduce absenteeism and making it easier to get items put on the agenda.
Altus High School principal Mark Haught then presented his plans for improving the front of the high school. Haught recently had the large trees removed from the property because they had made it impossible for grass to grow and made what Drury refered to as "a lob-lolly mess."
Haught showed the board members the plans which included more concrete, landscaping, possible sprinklers and benches. He said that pavers may be sold with the funds going to the Altus School Foundation, and a four-sided Centennial Clock with the support of First State Bank.
Haught said he hoped to have the concrete work done before the end of the school year and the landscaping done over the summer break.
The meeting adjourned.