District facilities and master plan document viewed by board of education

liminary review of the district facilities assessment and preliminary master plan document at its Feb. 1 work session.
The board met with Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture representatives Rick Hauptman and Chandler Green. Hauptman said the firm took a deep dive into the district’s facilities before sharing the information with the staff and community through a stakeholder engagement process.
Green said one of the factors under consideration was the need for continued growth and how to achieve that growth in each building.
“As we go through the process, we hone in on the elementary, middle school, and high school, and make sure we’re taking into consideration what is typical and standard, and what the best practices are for the district. This is still a work in progress and will help inform and confirm the number of classrooms needed or the types of programs that could potentially be shifted,” Green said.
Hauptman said information was presented to the staff and community, and participants were asked to place issues and items onto them that involved opportunities, weaknesses and needs.
“Opportunities were things that could be added to increase the value of the district. It also established the district’s weaknesses and what could be done to enhance the weaknesses to increase the value of the district. As for needs, we asked them what they felt were the most immediate things the district needed.
Green said the workshops sought input on the early childhood center, Inman Elementary, and the Red Oak Junior/Senior High School. Some of the priorities noted for the early childhood center were learning spaces, general maintenance, and the need for more storage. Green said the need for storage was noted across every building in the district.
At Inman, the focus groups noted a need for a cafeteria and multi purpose space, a stage and or auditorium space, general maintenance, storage, and restroom improvements.
As for the junior/senior high school, the biggest topics were general maintenance improvements to the building, exterior parking and flow, and giving the outside of the building some identity. Storage and learning spaces were also a suggestion.
Hauptman asked the board members present if any of the wants and needs of the focus groups was a surprise. Board President Bret Blackman said that none of the items were a surprise; the challenge for the board was prioritization of the needs identified.
A survey was sent out which was completed by 133 participants, and Green said the information received from the surveys would assist in prioritizing future projects for the district.
Hauptman and Green then showed the board some potential projects they could undertake, such as a dedicated safe entry point and potential building expansion into the playground area. At Inman, suggestions included converting the gym to a cafeteria/commons area, adding a smaller gym and a performance space, and adding more classroom space to the north side of the building. Renovations to the junior/senior high school STEAM center and additional classroom space were also potential projects.
Inman Elementary, Hauptman said, was the building chiefly identified as a priority project.
“Part of that is because it’s hurting for space, which was very evident in the staff feedback. That also may solve some spacing issues at the early childhood center, such as moving pre-K to Inman,” Hauptman said.
Following the presentation, Lorenz made it clear that the district wasn’t planning on undertaking a major project in the near future, it was simply determining the best path moving forward. Blackman agreed.
“Big bang projects like we just did are a once in 50 years type of thing. This is allowing us to see what needs to be done so we don’t have to do a $30 million project the next time,” Blackman said.
Hauptman said the next phase would be to compile a list of all the needs and determine the potential prices for each of the improvements so the district could make further plans and start prioritizing future projects.
A further, more extensive report will be presented to the board at a future date. 

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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