Discount mulberry tassel bag Outlet BEST grant application plan forming

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Morgan County School District Re 3 now has a plan for how to improve accessibility and security of the main entrance at Fort Morgan High School if a state BEST grant were to be awarded to the district, according to Re 3 School Board President Derek Gerken.

The main change would involve relocating the main entrance to the other side of the building. This new main entrance would lead into what now is the high school’s secondary cafeteria area, but it would have a secure vestibule right inside.

Another change would and moving the administrative offices to down to that same downstairs area so that people who enter would have to sign in with staff. Part of making that happen would involve opening up/eliminating the senior lounge area, which would become part of the cafeteria/commons space.

Upstairs, the area that currently holds the administrative offices would become classrooms.

“It’s basically just reworking the space that we have,” said Karen Temple, the superintendent’s administrative assistant and secretary to the school board.

There also could be changes that would need to be made to the courtyard where the new entrance was going in, as well as potentially changes to the parking lot.

If Re 3 were to get awarded a BEST grant for this project, a 41 percent match from the district would be required, she said. That would amount to about $2.2 million.”It is feasible,” Temple said of whether the school district could pull together that much for a grant match. “We just have to figure out what is the best avenue for how to make it work.”

“It’s going to require some of Mike Lee’s magic,” Gerken said of the school district’s chief financial officer being able to find room in the budget for such a large grant match. “It isn’t something short term. We’d have to do something longer.”

But that all is dependent upon the school district having everything finalized for the BEST grant application and filing it by the Feb. 23 deadline.

Decision to apply

The school district has known for a long time that the high school has accessibility problems with the current main entrance and its steep downhill ramps, as well as lax security upon entering the building.

Those were the key reasons Gerken said he supports seeking a BEST grant right now.

“When the school was designed, it was such a different era,
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” Gerken said. “Those current ramps, they just aren’t up to code.”

Also, controlling exactly who was entering the building and where someone was getting in is a major safety concern today, he said.

“That’s the unfortunate thing about society now,” Gerken said. “It’s definitely necessary if you’re going to keep our kids safe.”

But school district officials knew that fixing both the main entrance’s accessibility and security would not be easy or cheap, so it no definitely plans were in place for how to do it.

When the idea of seeking a BEST grant for the high school improvements came up, it seemed a bit more possible. But that meant needing a definite plan for how it could be done, including how much it would cost.

The school board on Jan. 8 directed Superintendent Ron Echols to contract with Wold Architects Engineers for preparing plans to use for such an application. The school district’s expense for this was $3,000, according to Temple.

The architects and engineers then got to work, using the suggestions from the high school administration and school district administration to put together some options.

After hearing the wide range of proposals that Wold had looked into, the board narrowed it down to the current idea of primarily relocating the main entrance, adding a secure vestibule there and moving the administration offices downstairs.

But even with a more definite plan chosen, there is still a lot of work that has to be done to have the grant application ready to submit by the Feb. 23 deadline. “There’s lots of hustling going on.”

Sharing the plans

The school district does plan to hold a public meeting specifically to provide information about the planned BEST grant application before it would be submitted,
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Temple said.

Such a meeting had been scheduled last week but got cancelled due to miscommunication. The new date for that meeting had not yet been set as of Friday afternoon.