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Millard School District officials have begun spending part of $14 million - money authorized by county residents in a bond election last year - in an extensive building program

At the top of the priority list are a new elementary school in Delta and renovations and expansion at the Delta High School and the Millard High School in Fillmore. Those three projects are expected to cost about $6.5 million.The price tag for the elementary school is about $2.5 million. District officials want to use seven acres the district owns at 100 East and Main Street for the school, acquiring another three acres.

Closing of a street will be required, inconveniencing some property owners, but school officials say most are receptive to the plan. The project will require changes in an irrigation water line, a storm drain, a sewer and telephone lines.

Cost of additions and renovations at Millard High School has been estimated at $2.5 million, to be completed in three phases.

Under the first phase, a new 760-seat performing arts auditorium will be constructed, along with an adjacent 3,000-seat gymnasium. The buildings will share a common lobby.

The second phase will be a vocational education building, followed in the third phase with a locker-room addition to the gymnasium. Designs are being completed for those projects and bids may be let before May 1.

The principal concern at Delta High School is safety. Remodeling to meet fire codes will cost about $1.25 million. Plans call for extending dead-end hallways to provide for additional exits. The media center will be remodeled and a cafeteria addition constructed to nearly double the capacity of that facility.

An automatic fire alarm system will also be installed at the high school. It will include smoke alarms and other safety measures that have been approved by the Utah fire marshal.

Silver, Naylor and Associates are project designers. Other building construction that will use up the $14 million bond money is in the planning stage.

School district officials are also investigating a new type of heating system that could save costs at several schools. Such a system is available through the Utah Power and Light Co. The company's "Better Energy for Schools Today" (BEST) program is designed to help schools meet energy needs at a lower cost, according to Vince Crawford, UP&L regional manager at Delta.

The system pumps hot, underground water to generate heat, thereby saving energy that is otherwise needed to heat cold water from other sources. The system requires only a small space when compared to other heating systems.

The district's business manager, Keith Griffiths, said the program looks attractive because it is becoming increasingly expensive to heat schools with electricity.