Archive for Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Plan to list school needs

November 15, 2000

Architects delivered a preliminary report of the district's needs to the school board Monday night, with most of their concerns revolving around space and growth.

Dick Ritchie and Bill Woodhouse of Frangkiser Hutchens said they will present a complete master plan with options for addressing facility needs at the Dec. 11 school board meeting. They had hoped to give that presentation Monday night, but instead shared some of their concerns the master plan will address.

"We are starting to identify critical issues," Ritchie said.

Among those critical issues is what Ritchie calls site adequacy. The firm recommends a 10-acre site for an elementary school, a 20-acre site for a junior high and a 30-acre site for a high school plus an additional acre for each 100 students in each school.

"At this particular junior high and high school facility, we should have at least a 50-acre site," Ritchie said. "At Vinland, we think there is a site issue there. Baldwin Elementary School has site constraints that will be hard to address."

Ritchie also said some of the district's schools need more space.

"There is a space issue at Baldwin Junior High," he said. "There is a space issue at Baldwin Elementary. We think those buildings are full and we need to create relief for them."

Vinland also has needs for additional space, Ritchie said.

The master plan also will address the district's growing enrollment, Ritchie said.

Other issues the firm has taken into consideration is the "sense of community" at Marion Springs and Vinland elementary schools, and "promises" made to district patrons of a high school auditorium and ballfields.

The firm has met with each school's site council, sought public input, surveyed teachers and administrators, and toured all the district's buildings. Ritchie said information from all the sources will be used to develop the master plan, and several options for addressing needs will be presented.

"We don't try to deliver you the Holy Grail and say 'this is how you do this,'" Ritchie said. "We give you two, three or four approaches."

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