North Sanpete School Board asks engineers to help find solution for high school band room

By Linda Petersen

Staff writer

Oct. 12, 2017

 

MT. PLEASANT—North Sanpete School District administrators are concerned about overcrowding in the high school’s band room.

The room, said Superintendent Sam Ray, was designed for about half the number of students currently using it. Ray spoke to members of the district’s school board at a Sept. 19 meeting.

Ray told the board the room had been a problem for several years, and that the room is so small—and the band so big—that band teacher Tim Kidder has to wear earplugs and is concerned about losing his hearing.

Over the years, district officials had considered various options and the district had made some acoustical adjustments to make the room more useable, Ray said, but the problems have persisted.

He informed board members that Tod Hansen, district supervisor over maintenance, recently brought in acoustical engineers from Sound Design, a Salt Lake City firm, to evaluate the room and make suggestions. Ray presented Sound Design’s recommendations to the board.

The acoustical engineers indicated that while some changes could be made, ultimately the room is much too small for the size of the band using it.

“We could spend tens of thousands, if not more, on making all these adjustments to this room and still have a room half the size we need,” Ray said.

Ray said he and North Sanpete High Principal Nan Ault considered expanding the band room or moving it to another location inside the school but none were suitable. Ray said the most cost-effective remedy would be to build an addition, and recommended it be located at the northeast corner of the school. An entryway would have to be adjusted, but the addition could be designed to closely match the existing structure, he said.

If the addition is constructed, it could provide a 40-foot-by-80-foot combined choir and band room. (The current choir room would be retained for overflow use). There would also be space for ensemble rooms and storage, and, if a loft was included, practice rooms.

Board members expressed interest in considering an addition and asked Ray to present cost estimates for the addition and recommended improvements at the board’s October meeting.

In other business at the September meeting, representatives of Siemens, the contractor on the district-wide energy update project, gave the school board an update on the project.

“The timing of your decision to move forward with this was excellent,” Siemens’ Eric Thatcher said, as he informed the board that Rocky Mountain Power will be changing its net-metering policies in November, and that solar-panel pricing is going up.

Thatcher reported that 64 percent of the labor force on the project is made up of local people, and 88 percent of the workers are from within Utah.

The solar panels were expected to be installed that week with the boilers shortly after. Thatcher said at that point the project was 25 to 50 percent complete.

Superintendent Ray said the boilers were scheduled to be fired around Oct. 15, but with the recent cold snap, other options were discussed, including moving up the work by a week or two. Ray said Siemens offered to bring additional heat into the buildings but Hansen, the maintenance supervisor, felt it was not necessary. The plan was to turn off the cold air at night to let the buildings retain the heat. Hansen said portable electric units could be used in critical places but didn’t think it would be necessary to bring in full heating units. Teachers and students would be instructed to bring a coat for a couple of days, if needed.

The upgrades are being done at every school and include everything from installing LED lighting, to weather stripping and insulation, to major boiler and controller replacements.

Assistant Superintendent Randy Shelley told the board that there have been mixed feelings about this year’s new early-out time. The new time is working well for high school students and their concurrent Snow College classes, but some elementary teachers are struggling to cover the school curriculum in the allotted hours.