The Madison School Board approved a $60,500 contract with Schmidt and Associates that will cover the next phase of the school district's study of building needs.

Superintendent Dr. Ginger Studebaker-Bolinger said the services provided by the architecture firm will include facilitating the building task force, the school administration and school board; utilizing data received; and gathering and incorporating any critical success indicators. Those, Bolinger said, are areas required for a school building, students and teachers to succeed.

Schmidt and Associates services will also include 3-D modeling for any new facilities, additions or renovations, building cost or budget implications to building projects and presentation of building renderings.

"They will be working to make sure we hear the voices of our community through the task force members and really making sure those meetings have a focus and an agenda as we move forward," Bolinger said.

Tom Neff, of Schmidt and Associates, said he'd like to be able to have a community recommendation to present to the school board by early November. Neff said he wants the task force meetings to be inclusive and a tool to get people on the same page for the project.

"We want to take all of the mystery out," he said.

The board unanimously approved the contract.

Also approved at the board meeting was the addition of five members to the building project task force.

Bolinger recommended Mark Nay, Lisa Hammock, Aaron Kelsey, Ruthie McGarry and Carla Cheatham be added.

Sue Livers, who was originally included in a group of invitees to the task force, won't be involved with the group.

The first meeting of the task force is scheduled for Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the MCS administration building.

The meetings will be open to the public.

Board President Todd Bass said board members would not be in attendance to make sure the meetings are completely community driven.