With school security and practicality in mind, the Dickson Public Schools Board of Education is looking to add new buildings to their campus.
Dickson Superintendent Jeff Colclasure presented the board with several different possible routes and an estimated budget of $5.5 million during Monday’s school board meeting. He said the district won’t make concrete plans any time soon, and is simply considering different options.
“Right now it’s kind of like a buffet, we’re just picking out things and looking at the costs,” Colclasure said. “Then, we’re looking at getting community members together and looking at what best suits our needs.”
The district wants to expand to accommodate its students and replace some facilities that were lost during previous projects. Dickson’s football field renovations eliminated the football team’s dressing room. Colclasure said the district is interested in building new ones.
“We still have several needs in the district and we’re trying to come up with ways we can do that… with as little possible cost,” Colclasure said.
Colclasure also suggested building a new agricultural building closer to the other buildings on campus.
“Security-wise we’d be able to put up fencing and have everything inside the fence,” Colclasure said. “If we did go that route, we’d then remodel the existing ag building and turn it into a visitors’ dressing facility for football.”
Colclasure said spread out facilities aren’t just inconvenient, they’re a greater security risk.
The board also discussed adding a second serving cafeteria to the campus. Currently, the district serves four lunches in one cafeteria and younger students have lunch at 10:30 a.m. to accommodate all grade levels.
“If they eat from 10:30 a.m. to 11, then they go from 11 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. without eating,” Colclasure said.
Depending on construction costs, the cafeteria might also double as a reinforced safe room.
“That is one of the things we’ve looked at, but that would be a very expensive project,” Colclasure said.
He said they might enclose an outdoor awning in front of the high school and convert it into a usable indoor space.
The district is also considering adding a five or six classroom building for pre-K and kindergarten classes.
“Eventually, we’d build onto that and have a true pre-K and kindergarten center,” Colclasure said.
Current construction is slated to wrap up in three weeks or so, but weather or other delays could change the timeframe.
“I’m sure there’s other things people in the community could come up with and we’re certainly open to suggestions,” Colclasure said. “The main thing is that $5.5 million seems like a lot of money until you start spending it.”