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Superintendent Perry Gives Overview of Building Program Options

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As you may be aware, the school board is considering capital building program options at this time. At this point, the board is considering two primary options which include the following.   

Option 1

Option 1 is the plan we have discussed for the last several months. This option is comprised of three phases. Our main priorities would focus on the renovation of West High School and renovations to our open-classroom schools.    

Phase 1          

Our first priority would be the renovation of West High School and the expansion of the cafeteria. The renovation would include significant upgrades to the classrooms, HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical, and general conditions.    

Phase 2

The second phase would be the construction of walls within our open-classroom schools.  This would involve Lincoln Elementary, Lincoln Middle, Meadowview, and John Hay.   Our primary reason for this is centered on safety and instruction.  

Phase 3

Our third priority would be the addition to Fairview.  This addition would eliminate some of the overcrowding which currently exists within our schools.  It would also eliminate the need for mobile units and would help to increase security because students would not be forced to travel outside the building.  It may be to our advantage to consider the construction of a new addition to Fairview before any work is completed on the open classrooms.  The addition would be utilized as classroom space for students who will need to be relocated during the open-classroom renovation process.  

Option 2

 

Phase 1

 

Our first priority would still be the renovation of West High School and the expansion of the cafeteria.  The renovation would include significant upgrades to the classrooms, HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical, and general conditions.   

 

Phase 2

Our second priority would still be focused on the open-classroom schools, but we would go a different route to accomplish this.  Each of the open-classroom projects have over $1 million associated with relocation costs of some nature.  This would include mobile units, restricted construction schedules, length of the construction window, and safety issues connected with completing projects with students in close proximity.   This is money that would provide no long-term benefits and could be considered wasted money.  We could avoid these relocation costs by constructing a new addition to Witt Elementary School and combine Witt and Lincoln Elementary into one school on the existing Witt campus. We could build the addition to Witt and make it large enough to hold all of the Lincoln Elementary students.  This would have approximately 700 students.  Construction could continue with limited interruption to Witt and we could complete the project quickly.  Lincoln students and staff would be moved to the new addition once it was completed.  It is important to note that no staff member would lose his or her job during this transition.   Some staff members may transfer to another school but no one (this would include all certified and all support staff) would lose a job.  We would eventually adjust staff numbers at the combined school but we would have a couple of years to prepare and I am confident that attrition will take care of any necessary adjustments to our staffing needs.    

 

Phase 3

We could renovate the old Lincoln Elementary School and convert it to the newly renovated Lincoln Middle School while the old middle school is still in operation.  We would not have to incur many of the relocation costs connected with option I.  Lincoln Middle would move into the new space once the old elementary space has been converted to the newly renovated middle school.  Classrooms walls would be installed and all necessary upgrades to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing would be addressed.   

 

Phase 4

We would then turn our attention to Meadowview and close up those classrooms.  We could utilize some of the empty space in Lincoln as temporary classrooms while the renovations at Meadowview take place.  

 

Phase 5 

In this phase, we would focus on closing up the classrooms at John Hay.  Any necessary improvements to mechanical, electrical, or plumbing would take place at this time.   

 

Phase 6

We would build an addition to Fairview Elementary and rezone specific students in the immediate area to eliminate the need for mobile units.   

 

Phase 7

After all four open-classroom projects are completed, we should have some space free at the Lincoln site.  We have a need for additional preschool space and for some of our most special needs children.  The remaining space at Lincoln could serve as a central location for these needs.  

 

Time Frame and Meetings

The time schedule for these options are dependent on funding.  It appears the county commission is willing to help fund at least part of the project and we will start planning this winter.  We hope to start actual construction in the spring of 2019.  We will have a better time frame after we formally adopt a plan.  We may wait until the new commissioners take office in September before approaching the county commissioners.  

 

We know that several people may have some concerns about the plan.  This may be especially true for the Witt and Lincoln staff because they may be more significantly impacted by Option 2 if the board elects to pursue this course of action.  We will meet with the Witt and Lincoln staff soon to listen to concerns and suggestions. We will establish a community forum to provide community members with an opportunity to provide feedback also.  We will provide those dates soon.