VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler City Schools will hold its first of three community forums on Monday as part of its development of a Future Facilities Plan. That forum will begin at 6 p.m. at Smith Middle School.
Superintendent Rob O’Leary says the intent of the forums is to allow residents of the community to be involved at every step of the way as the district looks into the future and assesses facility needs and wants.
“The intent of the Strategic Plan was to come up with a Master Facilities Plan to include needs, wants, nice to have, need to have, including athletics and to have the community prioritize those,” said Superintendent Rob O’Leary. “We know we have some major facility needs five years down the road as far as HVAC systems at Smith and Helke. We want a 5-10 year plan so we know the values and expectations of the community. We want this to be a very heavily community-engaged process.”
Other forums will be held June 18 at Demmitt Elementary and October 22 at Helke Elementary, both beginning at 6 p.m.
While O’Leary stressed that there are no current plans to build or renovate any buildings, the district did have an assessment done last year on its current facilities. That assessment included cost estimates to do some projects over a five year period and extending that out over 10 years.
“The question is how far down the road do we have to look at Helke, Smith, and Demmitt, probably in that order because Demmitt had some renovations during the (2011) construction process,” O’Leary said. “At some point there will have to be a discussion on when to do something at those three schools. It would be irresponsible for us not to talk about when. Construction projects are hard – it takes time to plan, pass the funding, and get it built. This process is meant to inform that discussion. This is what the strategic plan is telling us to do – get information, get feedback from the community.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.