During its June 23 special meeting, the El Dorado Springs R-II School Board looked over the facility needs presented by the school staff. (Published last week in the Sun.)

Supt. Mark Koca will convene a committee to take the list, vet it, screen it, prioritize it.

After going over many of the suggestions, Supt. Koca said, “That’s just kinda where everybody is at. Now the question is: What do we do with it? I don’t think there is anything in there that would surprise anybody. We are at a decision making point where we have to decide what it is we are going to pursue. And then start getting some figures rounded up on what that is going to cost.”

“I see a couple of ways to approach this. We could go back to committee work and let a committee take the list, vet it, screen it, prioritize it.”

“We could do it as a board. We could have a special board meeting and do that very thing ourselves. Either way would be fine.”

“But I think we have to prioritize that list before we can move forward.”

Supt. Koca said, “The other thing we need to be thinking about is how high do we reach? Is it a million and a half? Is it three million?”

Josh Floyd said, “That would depend on the priorities, wouldn’t it?”

Supt. Koca said, “Yeah. We’d like to do it that way, but in this previous bond issue that we ran four times, we set our priorities and we had an idea that like $7 million was about as high as we could reach, so we just chopped the list off at the $7 million and left everything else to be figured out another way. If you developed a list and had an assigned value to each of those list items, then you are at some point going to have to make a line and say, ‘This is all we have or this is all we think we can get.’ We think that our ultimate cutoff is around $10 million because by law we can’t bond any more than that. But I don’t think we have a snowball’s chance of passing $10 million  anything. They are going to have to go hand-in-hand.”

Beydler asked, “What is the price of a gym?”

Koca said he hated to mention a figure but “we talked several times in the past that a gym is around a million dollars.”

Beydler said from the comments he has been hearing, “An elevator is the No. 1 priority. If we do a gym, that we include a health classroom and get a vocal music classroom in here. Put some needed things in that so we get some immediate relief on some of that.”

The superintendent said, “I think that is the right approach. If you give an architect a set of parameters and say, ‘Here, we’ve got to have these things and here’s the space we have to put it in, they will figure out a way to get it done.”

“I think everybody agrees on the elevator as being No. 1. We’d like to do something about the other handicapped issue out front. That may be just build a big old long ramp. I mean we may just come back to the entrance over here and build a big old long ramp to the gym. It would be more of a catwalk than a ramp. That would alleviate that for the short term at least.”

Beydler said, “That’s not saying these other items are things we can do without, but you’ve got to start somewhere and get something going. The longer we wait, the worse it’s going to be.”

Supt. Koca said, “I can start the process of trying to set up a  couple of committee meetings. Things always take longer than you think it should. Because to get any input, you’ve got to get it in the paper. There’s a timing issue. We could set something up for early July and maybe have some things to bring back to the board on the 14th when we have our next meeting. We just have to get the word out. We definitely want to do it after the 4th and before the Picnic.”

“We have right up to the wire on Aug. 23rd to get this in. All we’ve got to do is have the ballot language and just plug in the numbers and take it to the clerk. If that’s what you guys want me to do, I will get it set up.”

Eason said, “We all know what we think are priorities and I think it pretty well shows up in this survey. The more people we can get involved, I think, the better.”