School board to discuss master plan on Monday
The school board will meet early on Monday to discuss a proposal from the Frangkiser Hutchens architectural firm. The board will meet at 6 p.m. at the district office to discuss the proposal for the first time since receiving it, and the regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
Dick Ritchie, an educational planner for the Frangkiser Hutchens, presented the board with several options for solving current district needs and preparing for future ones.
The most urgent need is a new school to alleviate crowding at Baldwin Elementary School and Baldwin Junior High School, according to the report. He said the two most viable options for that school would be a fifth and sixth grade center or an elementary school with a sixth grade. He said both options would reduce the number of students at BES and BJHS by eliminating the sixth grade from the junior high building, and giving relief to BES by taking away one grade or adding a new elementary school.
Ritchie said a solution would be to build a school designed to serve 250 students, but with a cafeteria and media center designed to serve 400 students. As part of the design, additional classrooms could be built if enrollment should exceed 250 students. The price estimate he gave for such a school was $4.4-4.6 million.
Among the firm's other recommendations were additions at Vinland Elementary School, Marion Springs Elementary School and Baldwin High School.
An addition at Vinland Elementary School would probably require some property cooperation with the Vinland Fair Board. Ritchie suggested building a multipurpose gym at the school and adding classroom and other needed space in the current gym. He estimated that project at $1.2 million.
At Marion Springs where music and art are both held in the gym Ritchie recommended the addition of classroom space for music and art, and also storage space for the building. The cost estimate was $299,000. He also recommended a window replacement program at the building.
Baldwin High School's recommended additions included a performance arts center, a wrestling room with a locker area and an industrial arts building. The auditorium would cost about $600,000.
Ritchie said the firm can also provide ideas for a pick up and drop off area at the junior high.
The school board hired Frangkiser Hutchens to develop a master plan of the current and future needs of buildings in the district. The firm surveyed teachers, administrators and staff; met with community members; toured all of the buildings, and used all of the information to develop the plan.