MILLEDGEVILLE – Chadwick-Milledgeville school officials are reconsidering an addition to the district’s Milledgeville school, and savings in energy costs.

A new office, lobby, gym, storage facilities and locker rooms are part of an expansion that would come from a state capital package that can pay for up to half of it.

If the district decides to move forward with the idea, it would have to come through passage of a building referendum in November.

The idea was pitched Wednesday by Richard L. Johnson and Associates during a board retreat, but no decision was made on whether to proceed, Superintendent Tim Schurman said Friday evening.

The cost was not determined.

The board also heard a presentation from the nonprofit Future Green Energy Consortium, which offers ways for schools to combat high energy costs.

The district is working with Future Green to on then possibility of installing solar panels to reduce electricity costs.

“Conservatively, we would reduce our energy costs by 40%,” Schurman said.

The district will close its school in Chadwick at the end of the school year and send its junior high and elementary students to Milledgeville.

In July 2017, the board surveyed residents to solicit opinions about declining enrollment and needed repairs. Most popular was an $11 million project that called for the closing of Chadwick; and adding a gym and office space, upgrading the heating and air conditioning systems, and consolidating all classes in Milledgeville. That option would have included an 11-cent tax rate increase, or about $15 per year on a home valued at $50,000, to help pay for costs.

Instead, members approved critical building upgrades at the high school, which were done over the summer with no tax increase. That included the replacement of all 148 windows; remodels of classrooms, the main office and the library; an elevator; a new art room; geothermal heating and air conditioning for the entire building; doors; flooring and dropped ceilings; and electrical equipment upgrades.

The Chadwick building still will be used for sports events and other program next year, Schurman said, but the approval of the new building proposal would result in a full closure.

Enrollment declines also puts the future of the high school football program in doubt. The program has struggled with low numbers in recent years, despite having swings of success on the gridiron.

Athletic director and football coach Jason Wroble and Milledgeville Principal Brian Maloy are exploring options to keep the program running as-is, establish a cooperative arrangement with neighboring districts, or, similar to Polo, join the fledgling 8-man football league.

A final decision on the football program’s fate will be determined at the board’s March 17 meeting.

Next meeting

The Chadwick-Milledgeville School Board next meets at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Milledgeville High School Library, 100 E. Eighth St.

An agenda will be posted on the district website, dist399.net, 48 hours prior to the meeting.

Call 815-684-5191 for more information.

For more local news, visit SaukValley.com at https://www.saukvalley.com.

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