SPRINGFIELD, NJ - At the first meeting of the new year, the Springfield Board of Education took a major step towards the proposed renovation of the instructional media center (IMC) at Florence Gaudineer Middle School (FMG).

At the re-organization meeting, the BOE approved DI Group Architecture as the architect of record on the upcoming FMG media center project. The cost of professional services will amount to $119,000, with all the money having been budgeted in the FY21 Springfield School Budget.

As the plan for construction is in its early stages, many major points and questions will be answered at a later date. However, one key point that is known is that the school district is looking to bring the FMG IMC in line with its counterpart at Jonathan Dayton, which underwent a major renovation of its own a few years back.

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That renovation emphasized the digital aspect, and added a large amount of new and cutting-edge technology for students to use.

New Springfield BOE President Marc Miller spoke with TAPinto Springfield, and laid out more information about the hire.

"By hiring the DI Group, they begin the process of assessing the space, and the beginning of a plan for the space." Miller said. "After speaking with administration, they have a vision of bringing the space into the 21st Century, making it more of a technological and modern facility for our students."

Miller also said that the idea was for the FMG IMC to function as almost a satellite branch of the Dayton facilities, with connectivity between the two. He also noted that the DI Group did a good job working on the Dayton IMC space, a project that he said bodes well for FMG.

"They did a great job on the media center at Dayton, and I'm confident that they will do as good a job at FMG."

The overall cost for the project is expected to land between $900,000 and $1.1 Million dollars. There are multiple ways that cost can be paid, with a bond referendum being the most likely and often-used method in other districts.

However, nothing has been announced of that sort yet. TAPinto Springfield will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.

As Miller said, the performance of students in the district is the number one priority, and giving them the facilities to succeed fits into that plan.

"Any time we can improve the facilities available to our students can only be beneficial to them as learners." Miller said.