MHS media center remodel

For the first time in a year, the Monticello school board met on Feb. 17 in its usual home, the high school media center. Meetings were moved to the middle school at the onset of the pandemic for easier social distancing. The media center has been off limits more recently due to renovations. The room is one of the last spaces to be rehabbed as part of the school district’s $35 facilities project.

MONTICELLO — With its construction project nearly complete, the Monticello school board is running out of reveals for its monthly board sessions.

The group was able to see one of the last pieces, a rehab of the media center, when it met in that room Feb. 17. The traditional home for the board, it was the first time it met in that space in a full year.

The COVID-19 outbreak prompted the board to move to the middle school due to its more spacious confines. The media center has also been off limits more recently due to the space being modernized, which is part of the district’s $35 million construction and renovation project.

School officials hope that, upon full completion in about a week, the media center — with moveable tables and high-backed lounge style chairs replacing wood tables and seating — will be a more inviting area for students to use.

The seating is designed for individual reading. If you want a quiet place, some of the areas have sound deadening,” said High School Principal Adam Clapp, noting that portable sound barriers will also be added for more privacy.

He said finishing touches are being applied, and students should be using the revamped media center by March, adding it will have more of a college feel when complete.

The media center will also have a permanent location for its student-run cafe, and an enclosed classroom with four video screens for teachers is also nearing completion.

School Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said the facilities project — which is focused on the high school/Washington Elementary campus — should be substantially complete by April, at least four months ahead of schedule. Still to be done:

Completion of the media center update

Moore Gymnasium locker room updates

Tweaking the new heating and air conditioning system

Lettering on the outside of the Arthur “Buz” Sievers Center gymnasium

New lettering and signage at Monticello High School

Zimmerman said the portable classrooms should be removed from the high school lawn by April.

The project is also on track to beat its budget by nearly $1 million. If the contingency and allowances funds are not drawn down any more, the school district will get about $680,000 back.

Board members also approved a change order that adds about $34,446 to the project, which was used to install a faculty restroom on the second floor of the 1921 high school building.

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