Renovation plans for the aging pool and auditorium at Davenport Central High School are now just a "blank canvas."

By June, district officials hope to have a better idea from students, staff, parents and the community about the $21 million renovation project that is slated to be completed by the 2016-17 school year.

On Tuesday, the district held the first of six community forums to get feedback about the scope, quality and cost of the project.

CSO Architects of Indianapolis will use that feedback to come up with the final design for both projects.

Jim Schellinger, chief executor officer of the architecture firm, said by the end of the series of community forums, all questions about the project will be answered.

Schellinger said it's important to create "highly functional spaces" that meet the students' needs.

"These spaces gotta work, they can't just be pretty places," he said.

The auditorium, which was constructed in 1905, has a confined stage, no stagecraft area in the back, is far away from music areas, and has antiquated light and sounds boards.

The pool, built in 1959, has four lanes and is 25 yards in length. Diving is impossible as the pool is only about 10 feet deep. The pool area also still has the original HVAC system and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards and codes.

Schellinger said he hopes to go out for construction bids between March and May 2014.

Vince Jurgena was an assistant girls swim coach for six years and has a son in seventh grade who is a swimmer.

He said the pool is outdated and desperately needs to be renovated. Support beams are "slowly migrating downhill" and the facility needs a new ventilation system.

Jurgena said he would like to see an eight-lane pool with an adequate deck space, more spectator seating and locker rooms, and a good electronic timing system.

"Our kids do really well in spite of that, but it's time," he said.

Scott Martin, the district's operations director, said this is the "single largest amount of money" spent on any of the district's schools in many years.

The project will be funded through dollars generated from the 1-cent sales tax, which generates about $13 million a year for the district for capital improvement projects.

While plans are still being determined, Martin said the district will not use the existing space for either project.

Martin said there is not enough space and there are mechanical issues that will make it difficult to make the necessary improvements to the existing space.

No decision has been made yet on where the projects will be built, he said.

Carrie Hummell, a former high school swimmer, said the community forums offer a "chance to do things right."

(2) comments

Kaenom18

Just make Central share the pool with the YMCA the way North and West have to. Oh wait, that's right, it's Central.

credit island

As Central, Palmer and St. Ambrose are in this area, and all receive public funds, it would seem a joint project should be considered.
Also, if school board members are sincerely interested in making changes in financing education, they should push for using sales tax, also,for teacher's salaries, etc.

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