COLUMBIA — Muriel Battle High School will regain two items that were cut from the construction plan, after a decision by the school board Monday night.
The new high school will get visitor-side grandstands for the football field and a softball field with restrooms. The items were originally cut after the July 15 board meeting because of budget constraints. At the time, the plan for the school was over budget, and the district was waiting to get bids for St. Charles Road improvements and an arterial road to finalize the budget.
The board agreed unanimously to use room at the former location of the Center for Gifted Education for a district-wide suspension center for students with five or more days of out-of-school suspension next semester.
The board also agreed unanimously to approve a letter of support to Regional Economic Development, Inc., to receive Chapter 100 bonds. The approval could allow REDI to receive up to 100 percent tax abatement on computers and IT equipment for a data center in Boone County.
The School Board received four bids for the road improvements. The board voted unanimously Monday night to accept the lowest bid from the Fulton-based contracting company Steve & Associates Inc., for $1,550,295.
With the budget finalized, the school board was able to incorporate the two items back into the plan for the new high school using available contingency funds.
The softball field and restrooms will cost $389,276, and the grandstands will cost $221,678. Other items on a list of possible future add-backs include:
- Tennis courts for $431,253.
- Theatrical equipment for $70,900.
- Culinary arts equipment for $470,148.
“The school is not under budget; it is at budget,” Charlie Oestreich, director of facilities and construction services for Columbia Public Schools, said at the meeting. He said he was not comfortable enough with the remaining contingency budget to recommend adding the other items at this time.
The school decided to rank the softball field and grandstands first and second on the list because they would be the most costly to add later.