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Saturday, November 6, 2010

$14 Million for Education Improvements? Yes! $2.9 Million for Luxury Gym? No.

The Madison Central School Board meets Monday night. The marquee item on the agenda: setting February 1, 2011, as the date for a public vote on a $16,975,000 bond issue to renovate the high school and build a new gym. Inside word on the cost of the new gym: $2.9 million.

Nice to see the school has found a way to reduce the price tag from previous gym proposals. But that's still $2.9 million we can save by focusing on the real educational improvements first.

The new gym remains unnecessary. We have numerous athletic facilities—middle school gym, community center, DSU fieldhouse, downtown armory—where our kids can get all sorts of physical activity. Cut that $2.9 million from this proposal, direct it toward making the educational improvements even better, and you'll have my vote on February 1.


  1. So how does the gym all of a sudden go from $8+ million to $3 million? What part of the gym is now considered "academic?" The previous gym proposal was $5+ million, I believe. How can we all of a sudden build a gym for so much less?

  2. I just read the actual proposal that will be voted on. The price tag for the whole thing has not changed. Not one word in there about a gym; guess the powers that be realize that word is poison. So what are they now calling it? If it is just a phys ed room, it doesn't need any seats, does it? If this spin, play on words, etc is how the powers that be are planning to get this done, it is just plain wrong and dishonest. What else are they being dishonest about? How about the total cost of the thing after 25 years, which is the actual cost of any project or item you have to borrow for?

    It is Christmas, I guess. Maybe a donor came thru with $6 million for the new gym to bring the cost down, but then that would have brought down the cost of the total project. Something just doesn't add up here.

  3. Nonnie, the cost was never $8+ million. That was the uneducated guess, or fabrication, of individuals who did not have any facts.

    As for the cost over 25 years, correct me if I'm wrong somebody, we won't know that until the bonds are issued.

    Matt Groce

  4. http://madisondailyleader.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20440381&BRD=1302&PAG=461&dept_id=181987&rfi=6

    "Jeff Nelson of Baldridge and Nelson Architects and Engineers and Jacob Bunde... presented plans that would renovate about 65,700 square feet of existing space for about $7.4 million.

    "Their presentation also included the construction of 62,000 square feet of new space that would cost about $8.64 million. Most of the new space would revolve around the construction of a new gym just north of the current middle school gym.

    "According to Nelson, the new gym plans would include four-sided seating for the main gym space, new locker rooms and a new fitness center. The new gym would also seat between 2,000 to 2,500 spectators."

    This article was written by a Daily Leader reporter reporting on a school board meeting. It doesn't sound like an uneducated guess, or fabrication, from individuals who did not have any facts.

  5. Nonnie says, "how does the gym all of a sudden go from $8+ million to $3 million?"

    The answer is simple, it never was an 8 million dollar gym.

    The article in the Madison Daily Leader, which does leave much to be desired, says most of the new space would be the new gym. It does not say cost. To assume otherwise, and then throw about those numbers as if they are gospel, just seems to me to be rather dishonest.

    Matt Groce


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