By Michael Pineda
LONE GROVE - It has been a long time in the making but the Lone Grove Public Schools auditorium is now under construction. Fenix Construction is currently doing the dirt work at the site located just to the south of the Gary Scott Center. Once completed, the auditorium will be 12,000 square feet with the capability of seating 867.
"We are looking at 12 months, but you hope it will be done earlier," Love Grove Superintendent Meri Jayne Miller said.
Once completed, the facility will fill a void for Lone Grove performances and assemblies. Miller said the auditorium would not be built to host graduation as other facilities are in place.
"We have the Gary Scott Center, which holds 1,500 and we feel comfortable with that," she said.
The events will be more akin to the intermediate school awards assembly and that type of program. The band will have a home for its concerts and vocal music, which is also a strong program at Lone Grove.
"We want to do what we can to strengthen our programs," Miller said. "We have the band Christmas program for 6 through 12 and we rotate the parents out. Now, we can break it up into junior high and high school."
A bond to build the auditorium was passed in 2008 but extra funding was sought. Ensuing proposals failed to gain traction with the voters and some officials have focused on getting the most for their dollar. The board recently turned down a bid for chairs because there had been pricing changes since the project was estimated in 2008. Miller said there are options available to pursue which include a lease purchase or seeking donations.
"We don't foresee it to be a problem," she said.
The auditorium will be connected to the Gary Scott Center and will not require plumbing, as the center will provide those facilities. For school officials, much of the hard work is over. Now, it is Fenix' job as the school waits for its newest building to be completed.
"I'm anxious, I want to see walls," Miller said. "It is like building a new house. You want to look at it every day to see the progress."View Press Release