Although unexpected expenses have forced the Tonawanda City School District to scale back some of its plans for its $11.9 million capital project, many of the aesthetics of the new music rooms will remain, as the renovations are almost ready to be put out to bid. An architect updated the Board of Education about the plans during its regular meeting Tuesday night.
Originally, the district wanted to build an addition to the Tonawanda High/Middle School building that would include a new music wing. However, when bids for the general construction of the addition came in earlier this year, the price was about $450,000 more than expected. The news forced the board and administrators to re-evaluate their capital plan.
While the district decided against constructing a new wing, it was able to incorporate many of the interior music rooms plans into existing space.
Leanne Stepien of Wendel Duchscherer Architects explained that many of the elements in the original plans will remain in the new classrooms.
“We’re still giving them the volume of space, and the acoustics will be the same,” said Stepien. “We’re just working with the existing rooms.”
The state is almost done reviewing plans for the new music rooms, according to Stepien, and requests for project bids may go out as soon as next week. Board President Sharon Stuart was pleased with the progress of the plans.
“It’s going to be new for the kids,” she said. “It’s better than what they had, but we’re still disappointed it’s not an addition.”
Stuart acknowledged that some community members may disagree with the changes in the capital project.
“This is the best that we can give the kids,” she said. “It’s still going to be fantastic.”
The centerpiece of the $11.9 million capital project was the new Clint Small Stadium at the Tonawanda High/Middle School complex. That opened in September.