Moline High School continues with new facility despite rise in project cost

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MOLINE-- It’s all about pitch and melody in Ms. Colleen Callahan’s choir class, as students prepare for their next big competition in a few months.

A passion, students at Moline High School are excited to take to the next level and they are waiting the construction of the schools new performing arts center to help them do just that.

"It`s going to have a brand new choir room, a brand new band room, and brand new practice rooms…I’m excited because we already have such passionate teachers we have kids that are fantastic. We already do so much with what we have. I’m excited to see where we are going to go and where (the new performing arts center) is going to take us,” says Callahan.

The school district celebrated a ground breaking ceremony for the project Tuesday, January 9.

The remodel will also upgrade the 60-year-old auditorium and install new stadium style seating and advanced sound and lighting systems.

The total cost of the project is $11.75 million dollars, which is already about $1 million over the original budget.

“It’s not something we wanted to spend extra money on. We would like to spend that extra million dollars as a buffer, but it is something that we have the money for, thanks to the one percent sales tax,” says Moline-Coal Valley School Board President, Kate Schaefer.

Schaefer says the price increase is because of a spike in building materials due to the number of natural disasters in 2017.

The School Board President admits it is a setback, but the district is still confident moving forward with the project.

“We want to see the project done and we want to see it done right and we want to get those students in there so they can show us what they got,” says Schaefer.

The district is only responsible for a portion of the funds for the project. More than $7 million was donated by the Robert E. Bartlett Family Foundation.

The new performing arts center is expected to be finished by January 2019.