“It just doesn’t make that impact statement we had envisioned,” said school board member Irene Berens.
“They are apparently hand-blown glass balls, but they look like basketballs, and everybody seems to agree that they don’t look right.”
Architect Bob Sussenbach with CGLS of Atlanta updated the school board Tuesday night on the construction status of the new auditorium and the renovations of the choral and dance rooms adjoining it.
In response to board and staff complaints, Sussenbach said he’s contacted the chandelier manufacturer to see if he can return the fixtures.
Another concern he addressed was whether the choral and dance rooms would be complete when the auditorium is scheduled to open July 28.
Sussenbach said the barrier wall between the two rooms took a little longer than expected but now the contractor, Decatur-based Diversified Construction of Georgia, says it will be able to play catchup.
The board approved a $256,000 contract with Diversified Construction in December, and while the auditorium construction is being funded by a bond, the contract payment is being paid for out of the district’s building fund.
The auditorium, which is about 85 percent complete, is on track to open just in time for district teachers to hold their annual start of school kickoff celebration inside.
“We are installing seats, working on the stage rigging and getting close to allowing (band director David DuBo-se) to move his equipment in,” Sussenbach said.
In other business, the board unanimously approved a $208,341 contract with DELL to purchase 220 laptops and 50 storage carts for the high school. The cost will be funded by SPLOST III.
This contract was one of many technology purchases, valued at more than $1 million, which the board has approved this school year.
Board member Tony Fasola asked the district’s director of technology, David Digiovanni, if they’d ever be done buying laptops.
“I don’t see us getting away from laptops for at least the next couple of years,” Digiovanni said. “Teachers prefer laptops, and I’m all for new technology, but iPads do not work well for testing and other programs our teachers use.” He said laptops are more durable and solid than tablets.
This purchase was part of the district’s continued technology plan, recently approved by the board, so that every student has access to a computer device throughout the school day.
Board member Stuart Fleming instructed staff to bring that plan back at an upcoming meeting so the board may see how many laptops it has to purchase in the future.