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During their April monthly meeting, the Belton ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a schematic design for an orchestra addition at Belton High School. The approved design includes the addition of 3,200 square feet for a dedicated orchestra rehearsal hall, sectional room and three practice rooms, along with renovations to 1,200 square feet of existing band hall, instructor office space and the band music library.

“The district’s orchestra program started with a small number of students in the fall of 2007,” described Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon. “Today, more than 250 students participate in the program, and over the last several months, district, campus and fine arts staff have provided input on this plan to relocate this thriving fine arts program to the main campus.”

When Belton Middle School was repurposed to a ninth-grade center in the fall of 2014, Belton High School’s orchestra program began to use the band hall there. With the opening of Lake Belton High School in the fall of 2020, orchestra will no longer have a designated instructional space at Belton High School. For this reason, the board’s Capital Improvement Projects document was updated in April 2018 to include a fine arts facilities addition for Belton High School’s orchestra program.

In November 2018, the board approved a contract with O’Connell Robertson Architects for architectural services for the new orchestra addition to ensure substantial completion and availability for the fall of 2020 when Belton High School’s orchestra program will be relocated to the main campus.

 “Our Belton High School Orchestra program is an important, high-achieving program for our students and their families,” Board President Sue Jordan said. “The schematic design approved tonight reaffirms our commitment to offering strong fine arts educational opportunities in high-quality instructional spaces.”

Architectural rendering of schematic design for front facade

 In materials submitted to the board, O’Connell Robertson described the design for this addition as providing “the most floor plan space within the allowable expansion area,” with the additional enhancement of a “contemporary design solution” for the main entry to the Belton High School campus. The estimated project cost for the orchestra addition is $1.4 million.

 Also, during tonight’s meeting, trustees reviewed and affirmed the district’s current vision, mission and goals for the 2019–2020 school year. They will serve as the foundation for the District Improvement Plan which will be presented this fall.

 The school board’s vision for the district is to “be a leader in preparing every student to excel in tomorrow’s world,” and its mission calls on Belton ISD to “provide an education that challenges all of our students to excel.”

Elizabeth Cox