Categorized | Education & Safety, News

School system postpones pursuing Civic Center acquisition until 2017

By Bill Short

Millington Schools logoThe Millington Municipal Schools administration has decided to postpone its pursuit of acquisition of the Harvell Civic Center until at least the summer of 2017.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of the school system, announced the decision Monday night during the School Board’s regular monthly meeting. He said the administration believes that will “allow for greater planning” by the organizations that are currently using the Civic Center.
“We’ve made the city officials aware of that,” he noted, “and they are comfortable with postponing that action until that time. So, there won’t be any change of ownership in those buildings within the next year.”
But Roper also said the school system wants to “move forward expeditiously” with its planned demolition of several buildings on the Millington Central High School campus and construction of a new Fine Arts Center.
“We believe we have a sequence of steps planned that will allow us to begin construction maybe as early as late September of this year,” he concluded.
At its March 7 meeting, the board voted unanimously to seek proposals for demolition of the buildings.
Roper has said that will allow bids to be submitted, and the board will subsequently be asked to approve the “lowest responsible bidder.”
Chairman Cody Childress has said a plan will be presented to the board to demolish the old cafeteria, Library/Science, ROTC and Vocational classroom buildings this summer. The school’s auditorium will remain until the new Fine Arts building has been constructed.
Roper has said the demolition of the Vocational classroom building will not include the “auto shop area.”
He has noted that the designated MCHS buildings will be scheduled for demolition between June 1 and July 31.
And he has also acknowledged that, as the demolition plans proceed, “numerous issues” will have to be addressed. They include relocation of utilities and “sequencing” of the work, so the demolition of one building will not affect utility service to another one.
Board Vice Chairman Greg Ritter has said he believes some of the “HVAC controls” for the high school auditorium are in the old ROTC building. So, that would be lost if all of that building was demolished.
Oscar Brown, supervisor of Operations and Transportation for the school system, has acknowledged that the “heating and cooling part” for the auditorium does come from the east end of the ROTC building. So, he said a portion of that building will have to be preserved.
Roper has said Millington residents will recall that a new Fine Arts Center has been “in the plans” for many years for the high school and the city.
“At some point, before the schools were transferred from Shelby County, that plan just fell by the wayside,” he noted. “We’re hoping now to move that forward and have that new addition to our high school that we believe we’ll be very proud of.”

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