Steering committee selects final facility plan

The final meeting of the Red Oak Schools steering committee met Wednesday, Feb. 22, to make a final determination on a plan to take to the school board. 

Prior to the meeting, attendees were presented with the results of a survey, which had 20 respondents in total. 19 of those who took the survey approved of the overall plan. 15 had concerns over the competition gym. 

Other high vote-getters were approval of the auditorium upgrades, with seven responses. Six approved of the high school renovations, and six also felt there needed to be more focus on music at Inman. Five respondents liked the idea for new roofs and bigger lunchrooms, and also wanted more science rooms. Other questions from the survey with multiple responses included concerns about not demolishing Washington Intermediate or the middle school, approval of the weight room location, asking for more focus on educational spaces, approved the fine arts storage at the high school, approved a secure entrance at the high school, and sought the board to consider other options for Washington. 

Among the improvements to the plan which was favored by the steering committee at their prior meeting was communications cabling, AV technology, temporary classrooms, and fire sprinklers, and abatement. Also included were expansions to the locker room, an upgrade of the auditorium at the high school; new flooring; renovated restrooms; replacement of the interior doors, frames, and hardware; and replacement of the exterior doors and windows.

Ala Carte options:

Funds for storage behind the auditorium, a full budget for the high school wrestling room, eliminated a practice gym in favor of a competition gym while eliminating major renovations of the existing gym, and a new roof at the high school. At Inman, the locker room renovations were included, as well as a new roof. 

To address concerns over the competition gym, Alley Poyner Macchietto architect Daric O’Neal presented one additional option to the steering committee, which had everything considered in the option approved in the prior steering committee meeting, but reduced the scope of the gym from competition size to a practice gym. The plan reduced the gym cost by $450,000, but $250,000 would be earmarked to renovate the existing high school gym. The remaining funding, O’Neal said, could be used towards additional science room space, or other options. There were no changes to the scope of the project at Inman. 

Boyd Jones representative George Schuler said the majority of the work was focusing on the educational spaces. 

“The investment in the HVAC, flooring, lighting, the majority of the cost is being pushed into these educational spaces. The gyms are big spaces, but are not really moving the dial when we talk about the overall project costs,” Schuler said. 

Questions were raised as to whether there was enough classroom space being earmarked for the influx of students from closing the other buildings. O’Neal said it had been examined closely. 

“There’s not a great utilization of the classroom space at the high school. Moving the students from the middle school can be done,” O’Neal said. “Additionally, restrooms are being added to the building to handle those additional students.” 

The steering committee once again voted on the plans, with the overwhelming majority favoring the competition gym plan. 

The steering committee selection was presented to the board at its regular meeting Feb. 27. 


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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