The Blaine County School District board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $518,000 budget to remodel an area at Hailey Elementary School to house the district’s Autism Spectrum Disorder program.
The remodel will take place in a basement area in a northern part of the school. The area was earlier used for maintenance but is now available because of the new district Maintenance and Storage Facility on Aviation Drive in Hailey.
The work, set to begin this summer, will involve building two new classrooms, new restrooms and other facilities for the ASD program.
Dan Young Construction and architect Michael Doty were approved by the board in February as the design/construction team.
The final budget approved was higher than an earlier estimate of between $350,000 and $400,000. However, the earlier estimate was made before the board approved moving the ASD Program from Woodside Elementary School to Hailey Elementary.
“The initial program was to just add three new classrooms,” district Business Manager Mike Chatterton said Thursday. “When the board made the decision to put the Dual Immersion magnet school at Woodside, that meant we had to relocate the ASD Program.”
Chatterton said the final cost was higher because “the functionality of the area changed from just a classroom area to an ASD area that requires additional bathrooms, a kitchen, a laundry and things like that.”
Woodside Elementary is scheduled to become a Dual Immersion-studies-only school at the beginning of the school year in 2014. In Dual Immersion, students are instructed in both English and Spanish with the intent that they become fluent in both languages.
Chatterton said that work on the ASD Program area will likely be done by October but noted that the facility won’t be needed until the beginning of the school year in 2014.
He said funding is available from a $730,000 balance left from a now retired bond that was used to fund construction of Wood River Middle School.
Terry Smith: email@example.com