Sunday, December 17, 2017

May 6 School Bond Ballot Includes Band, Music Building Domino Project

Carroll school officials say the $208 million bond proposition on the May 6 ballot includes a proposed band and choir building that has a “domino effect” on other programs.

The project was recommended by a 40-member committee made up of representatives from every Carroll ISD school attendance zone. A smaller subcommittee studied extra-curricular/co-curricular facilities such as athletic fields, gyms, Dragon Stadium, Aquatics Center, visual arts, band, choir and theatre. Their work included tours of existing Carroll ISD facilities, as well as tours of neighboring school districts.

The proposed $24 million performing arts facility would include band and choir halls, classroom space, offices, storage space, practice rooms and a 700-seat auditorium for band and choir performances. School officials say that multiple programs have been sharing one auditorium at Carroll Senior High School since the facility opened. The auditorium was constructed in 1992 when CSHS was a Class 3A high school. Over the past 25 years more students and more programs began utilizing the auditorium space, which includes 999 seats, an orchestra pit and a black box theatre.

Carroll students are now performing against other Class 6A high schools, and members of the Capital Needs Planning Committee believe that the construction of the proposed band/music building will free up space for programs like theatre, journalism/broadcast studio, language labs and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Currently, there are 315 students involved in 11 band classes and 175 students in six choirs. The proposed facility under consideration to house these programs would be built on the Carroll Senior High School site, just west of the art building facing FM 1709. Currently, band students travel to Carroll High School for practices and learning marching routines. Band students practice marching on the concrete north student parking lot. The CNPC recommended the bond include a band and choir hall at CSHS so the band program could be housed at the 11/12 campus.

The proposed project list also calls for turf to be installed on the field just west of the indoor workout facility so that members of the Dragon marching band can practice routines on the campus of CSHS on a turf football field, moving off the concrete parking lot area at CHS. Turf for other fields has been proposed to help with safety of athletes and to save maintenance and watering costs associated with real grass. Members of the CNPC said they made recommendations that would shift maintenance and operating costs to debt service costs because expenditures using debt service funds are not subject to Robin Hood recapture.

Citizens on the CNPC proposed a smaller, more intimate auditorium for band and choir performances so that it could also be utilized by APEX, Southlake Community Band and other groups. Although students would have priority when scheduling the facility, CNPC members said there is the potential for facility rental income to support the district’s maintenance and operations budget, which is currently operating at a deficit.

Construction of the proposed band/choir facility would allow the current CSHS auditorium to be renovated and repurposed for expanded theatre arts offerings and facilities. The existing band hall would be renovated into a larger black box theatre, the jazz room would become a dedicated classroom, and the scene shop would be expanded to allow for set construction and design. The renovated area would also give theatre more storage for their productions. Currently, there is only one dressing room and male/female actors must take turns using the dressing room. The renovation project on the May ballot would include offices, a green room and dressing rooms for both male and female actors.

Renovations at the auditorium call for seating, lighting, sound and acoustic treatments specifically designed for theatrical productions. The renovation to the auditorium, school officials say, would be recommended regardless if the proposed band/choir facility is built. In addition, the space freed up by moving band and choir out of this area would allow for a journalism/broadcast studio to move into the renovated space.

Back at Carroll High School (9/10 campus), the band area could be renovated to make room for the STEM program to move off the third floor and down to a facility specifically designed to provide the ventilation and space necessary for students involved in hands-on STEM activities. Relocation of the STEM program frees up classroom space on the third floor of CHS. There are currently 12 foreign language teachers at CHS utilizing the same lab. Under the proposed domino project, the ratio of teachers to language labs would be 4:1 districtwide.

The May bond election also includes uniforms, equipment, instruments, furniture and technology for the district’s art, theater, choir and band programs, to include middle school band and choir programs. Renovations to Dragon Stadium and the CISD Aquatics Center – both 16-year-old facilities – are also outlined in the bond proposal.

Voters will begin casting their ballots on the $208 million bond proposal Monday. To learn more about the projects recommended by the CNPC and include din the May ballot proposal, visit CarrollBudget.com.

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