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Students in the Grand Island School District are taking aim at some problems in the district's $18.4 million capital project.

"There are still several problems and several of the students are asking why the money wasn't better spent," Sarah Tanbakuchi, student liaison to the School Board, told trustees during a recent meeting.

In particular, she pointed to soundproofing and acoustical shortcomings in the music suite, which features nine rooms to accommodate middle and high school musical ensembles and also updated electrical service in the auditorium.

Music Director Sherman Lyke said the improvements were needed to alleviate scheduling problems and solve lighting problems that left several musicians in shadow while others strained to see their sheet music.

The student liaison also pointed to inadequate repairs to a science laboratory, and said more attention should have been paid to improving conditions to foster academic excellence.

The issues were raised by board members last summer to Edward Eagan, the architect of record for the project. Board members said Eagan assured them the suite would meet state Department of Education standards but that further improvements would cost more than was budgeted, officials said.

Superintendent Thomas Ramming said several improvements, including those mentioned by Tanbakuchi, were considered in early talks but never made it to the final project.

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