PETERSBURG – The fate of a Boone County middle school has been tabled following an impassioned meeting on Monday night.
The Boone Central Board of Education held a special meeting at Boone Central Middle School in Petersburg to discuss a recent feasibility study conducted on the facility. The study is to help the board determine whether to refurbish the building in Petersburg, or to combine the middle school with Boone Central High School in Albion.
After over two hours of discussion with attendees, the board voted to table the decision until June 24th at 7:30 PM. Board President Tim Stopak says that receiving feedback from the Petersburg community was an important step in determining the middle school’s future, and that all questions and concerns will be carefully considered before the final vote is made.
“This isn’t a decision that we should take lightly, we’ve been working on this for many many months now,” Stopak said. “We knew that there would be some passionate people here, that’s one of the things that makes Petersburg a great community. We needed to give some time for us to consider some of the things that they brought up.”
Some attendees felt that more research needed to be done before moving forward with a decision, and that the loss of the school would be a major blow to the Petersburg community. Other concerns included the mixing of middle schoolers with high schoolers, and the estimated costs of building an addition onto the high school.
The feasibility study was put together with help from JEO Consulting Group, Dr. Ernie Goss & Associates, and Wilkins Architecture. The three parts of the study included facility assessment, external stakeholder interviews, and an economic cost/benefit analysis.
Wilkins determined that it would cost an estimated $2,930,649 to renovate the current building, not including design and service fees or necessary cost to bring the facility up-to-date with 21st century learning requirements. Including service and design fees, Dr. Goss & Associates estimated the renovation cost to be $3,475,180.
Dr. Goss’s analysis also included the costs of two possible additions to the Albion campus. An option that would contain 16,038 square feet of new construction was estimated at $3,959,217, and an option which would see 13,454 square feet of new construction was estimated at $3,360,570.