Voters in six towns will decide next month whether to approve $2.2 million to overhaul the gym and much of the roof at Lamoille Union High School.
The decision will be made Sept. 3 in all-day voting in all six towns in the the Lamoille North school district — Belvidere, Cambridge, Eden, Hyde Park, Johnson and Waterville.
School officials have been deferring repairs to the gym since 2009, when the Lancers’ home court surpassed its 40-year life span. There have been stop-and-start plans to fix it over the past decade, but they kept getting stymied by budget restrictions.
“We’ve been pushing it down the road,” Lamoille North facilities manager Dylan Laflam said in January. “There’s been almost no money put into that place for 52 years.”
The 20-year bonds would provide $2,233,000 to finance work on the gym, the cafeteria serving line and auditorium stage floor.
Repairs to — and replacement and re-insulation of — the roof that covers that whole section of the school would make up half the cost of the project.
According to Lamoille North finance director Deb Clark, the bond would add 86-hundredths of 1 cent to the property tax rate. On a home valued at $100,000, that would be an extra $8.60 in taxes per year for 20 years.
If the bond is approved Sept. 3, the school district will have final engineering plans drafted, see bids during the winter, with construction beginning after graduation in 2020. The goal is to finish all the work by the end of October 2020.
Between now and the Sept. 3 vote, the district will host two open house tours — Thursday, Aug. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. An information meeting will take place Aug. 26 at 7 p.m., followed by another tour.
As part of the project, 35,550 square feet of roof will be repaired and/or replaced and re-insulated.
The roof work makes up about half of the total project costs — $1.1 million for repair, insulation, HVAC upgrades and structural changes. Since the same roof covers the gym and parts of the auditorium and cafeteria, the project was extended to include parts of those latter two spaces, as well.
In the auditorium, the project involves replacing the stage floor.
In the gym, a lot of small things add up to a big project. Here’s the list of to-do items in the gym:
• Replace floor
• Bleacher upgrade
• HVAC upgrade
• Replace lighting
• Upgrade egress doors
• Reconfigure storage areas
• Replace scoreboards
• Replace backboards
• Replace divider curtain
• Add acoustical paneling
• Replace trophy cabinets
• Replace matting
• Refurbish/replace banners rail
• Replace drinking fountains
• Apply a new coat of paint
Work in the cafeteria includes replacing lights, repairing the ceiling and remodeling of the service line to improve student flow through the lunch rush.
“They’d be able to basically put close to 400 people through here in less than 10 minutes with the new design,” Laflam said earlier this year during a walk-through.