A task force studying school buildings has narrowed the potential site for a new middle school to two locations -- both on Pearl Road.
But the group deadlocked on whether the better location is a 17-acre school-owned parcel next to or the current site.
"We couldn't come up with a consensus," said Mark Donnelly, the school district's manager of business services.
The solution? Call in an expert.
"We decided, why not wait until we have professional on board to help us?" Donnelly said.
The School Board is poised to bring on an architect to guide the design of the proposed middle school, and Donnelly said he learned during the interviews that the top firm has experience in site selection.
As a result, the recommendation on a site has been delayed until an architect can join the discussion.
Donnelly said the Facilities Task Force rejected two other potential sites -- the current school site and the former Allen School property.
Albion, he said, is not as centrally located and is accessed by two-lane roads.
"We know the public wants to know (the site). We know there's interest," Donnelly said. "But we don't want to rush it and make the wrong decision."
He said the architectural firm the district hopes to hire has a huge checklist of factors to consider in selecting a site that are beyond the expertise of the task force -- things like water pressure, sewer capacity and electricity needs.
Voters will see on the November ballot that would pay to build a new middle school and make vast renovations to , plus some safety-related repairs to elementary schools.
Donnelly said the goal is to choose a site for the new middle school before absentee voting starts in early October.
The Facilities Task Force is made up of school officials and residents. It came up with to replace the existing two middle schools, and to make a number of renovations to the high school and elementary schools.