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No decision made in DHS workshop; new option considered

No decisions were made during Thursday's fourth workshop for the new Dickinson High School project, but a new option was added. "We want to take one last-second look at whether or not it would be beneficial to keep any of the old facility, like t...

No decisions were made during Thursday's fourth workshop for the new Dickinson High School project, but a new option was added.

"We want to take one last-second look at whether or not it would be beneficial to keep any of the old facility, like the gym space," said Shon Hocker, superintendent of Dickinson Public Schools.

Originally, the district was considering three options for the project. Option A was a remodel and expansion of the current building; option B was an expansion and more extensive remodel that included demolition of the pods; option C was a new building. After the mid-October community meeting, during which the district took an informal vote on which option the community preferred, the focus became option C.

The new option is a variation on one of the old schemes. It would keep the original gymnasium and the 1997 addition and build a link between it and the new building.

"It's a little simpler solution than the one that adds on pretty much on every side of the building," said Brian Stark of JE Dunn Construction, the CMAR for the project. "(That option) would be very, very hard to do and keep the school open for business. This was kind of a hybrid solution that was brought up between us and the architectural team."

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JE Dunn and the design team are working on cost estimates and a list of pros and cons for the new option, which should be done by the end of the month. At that point, the school board will decide whether they want to move forward with that option or with option C, building a whole new building.

They must still decide where on the property they will build the new school.

A surveying company will identify the grades (what it would take to level the ground), the location of the utilities and where the existing buildings are, which will help determine costs for each possible location.

"The city may have some information, but it's not detailed enough," Stark said. "That's really the next step in the design process, to have really good existing information so that we can make informed decisions about what's most cost effective, based on how much grading is involved. The more earth you have to move, the more costs there are."

They will consider aspects aside from cost as well, including curb appeal and how the location would contribute to traffic flow.

The plan is to finalize a decision within the next couple of months, said Stark.

One thing is for sure: The new school will not be built where the school is now. School will continue to be held in the current building throughout construction of the new building.

Related Topics: DICKINSON HIGH SCHOOL
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