LISBON — The School Committee voted 4-1 Monday night to begin the process of hiring an architectural firm to design a performing arts center at Lisbon High School.

The committee authorized the superintendent to start the search.

Committee members agreed the firm chosen will help establish a structural review, preliminary designs and cost analysis.

Member Pete Reed opposed the authorization.

“We just got done with building the gym,” he said. “There’s no money to hire an architect. We don’t need a performing arts center. It’s not affecting our accreditation or anything else.”

According to Superintendent Richard Green, there’s no money in the capital reserve account to cover the construction of a performing arts center.


“You can’t apply for grants or go looking for support dollars and fundraise without some sort of conceptional design,” committee member Ross Cunningham said.

The only cost associated with searching for an architectural firm is in advertisement, Green said.

“I am in favor of planning,” Chairwoman Traci Austin said. “That’s what got us the gym and track in the first place. And in this realm, grant dollars are generally there more so than athletic fields, gymnasiums and tracks, so I do believe it’s worth going through the preliminary steps that cost us very minimal.”

In other business, Technology Director James Churchill announced that the middle school laptops, which have been delayed since the beginning of the school year because of lost paperwork and Hurricane Harvey, are due to arrive Feb. 20.

The next committee meeting is at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Town Office.

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