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MOLINE — The $14 million physical education facility at Moline High School now moves into the design and bidding phase. School board members Tuesday were updated on feedback gained from the design committee.

Board members agreed in April to move forward with the physical education facility at the high school, with the goal of providing safer and more appropriate space for students. Chief financial officer Dave McDermott and Shive Hattery architect Kari Uhlenkamp shared design drawings and information on how the 20-member committee has been involved in prioritizing wants and needs.

Uhlenkamp said the planning meetings have provided an opportunity for committee members, including administrators, staff, students and community members, to consider the square footage and other requirements.

“We gave them the existing floor plan and parameters and let them play architect,” she said. “What goes next to the wrestling room?”

She said that narrowed the designs down to two options and Shive Hattery worked to combine those into the best option to accommodate 1,900 students utilizing the facility.

Uhlenkamp said any committee will have diverse ideas about their dreams for a new facility. Ultimately, she said, the group decided a successful project will bring a real sense of pride to the district, foster growth for the district and the city, as well as provide more space for students to engage in a safe and secure environment.

The 53,900 square foot project will include a six-lane track, four full multi-purpose courts, a wrestling room, weight room, interior and exterior bathrooms, and a locker room space with 500 lockers.

Chief financial officer Dave McDermott said the $14 million price tag is the “all in cost.” He said that means that price tag includes equipment and furniture costs as well as architectural and construction management fees.

McDermott said he believes the design committee feels very good about the outcome of their work.

“User groups are a very fun process - but a lot of anxiety goes with that fun,” he said. “We collectively came together very quickly and identified what priorities we needed for a physical education facility.”

No action was taken by the board to formally approve the design work, but the board agreed the process could advance to the next steps.

Also Tuesday, board members heard public comment from three individuals regarding the Moline Blue Marlins Swim Club. Moline resident John Roche and Coal Valley residents Leah Chandlee and Bram Gustafson addressed the school board. Additionally, the meeting was attended by about 40 people, many of whom were wearing Moline Blue Marlins shirts.

In other business, board members:

  • Took no action following a closed session regarding employee matters.
  • Again held a public hearing and voted to approve the 2019-2020 budget. Board members initially held a public hearing and voted to approve the budget at the July 22 school board meeting. McDermott said the action was taken again Tuesday because the July 22 budget hearing was unintentionally not advertised in the newspaper as required. Tuesday’s hearing was successfully advertised Aug. 2.

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