Knoxville — The Knoxville School Board approved the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimate of the total cost of construction for the Knoxville High School auditorium Monday night.
Vitus Bering, architect for the project, updated the board on the most recent design. He presented renderings of the interior of the auditorium to the board's committee last week. The auditorium committee has selected colors and carpet designs for the project.
Outside of the building, Bering told the board that there is a new plat for the City's multi-use trail, which has to be moved to accommodate the auditorium. He also covered parking and points of access to Madison Street.
The board discussed a cooling tower that serves the high school. The existing one is nearing the end of its life and the board intends to replace it. Cost of a new one is estimated at $150,000. After some discussion by the board, they supported the purchase of a new cooling tower which can be stored inside the new auditorium. This option is less costly than a new one on the outside of the building.
According to board members, the auditorium's plan is good. They believe it will have the support of artistic groups in the community.
"We've got to make sure the community groups use it," Director Mike Helle said.
In a separate action, the board proceeded with the necessary steps to receive the funding to pay the auditorium's costs. The board will seek bonds totaling $6,455,000, which will be repaid through sales tax revenue. Revenue from sales tax is restricted to physical plant improvements and not general fund costs such as salaries and benefits. Though the board is borrowing against the money, and has committed $400,000 of the same revenue annually for the next four years for the laptop program, leftover funds are expected. The bond sale for this project is scheduled for May 16.
Look for a full report on the school board in the April 13 Journal-Express.