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Auditorium renovation plans moving forward

School board members of the Bellwood-Antis School District learned plans are moving forward in the auditorium project at the middle/high school and bids are expected to be advertised beginning in September.
Ken Swanson, the district’s business manager, told the board on Tuesday that a meeting with the architect is scheduled to finalize a number of minor issues before the project is ready for advertisement.
“Hopefully, it will be ready for graduation,” said Swanson. “But don’t plan on it.”
The board, in February, voted to move ahead with plans to put $1.3 million worth of renovations into the school’s auditorium. According to Rick Wilt, an architect from L.R. Kimball & Associates Inc., renovations include adding new doors at the rear of the facility, adding new technology to both the stage and auditorium areas, removal of asbestos from the stage area, new construction and developing layout plans for general lighting and sound, and new seating for physically disabled citizens.
Board members have also said the auditorium is in dire need of new rigging system. The current system was designed and built in the 1930s and is a fixture in the building. Officials hope a new, mobile rigging fixture would allow stage crews to change stage lighting and hanging props without using a ladder.
Swanson said it wouldn’t be possible to ad a movable rigging system, but noted a screen for projections would be able to be added so it could be moved up or down.
Swanson told the board the architects have also requested adding a new, 400 amp feed, painting the rear wall, recessing two large speakers on the auditorium side and add another air vent.
Swanson said once the specifications are figured out, the advertising and bidding process should then fit into place. After bids are advertised, the board will select an contractor and they would then have 60 days to begin working on the project.