The public and patrons of the Atlantic Community School District will get a close-up look this Thursday night at five concepts the District is considering, to address its need for more instructional space. During Thursday night’s meeting, Jerry Purdy with the Design Alliance architectural firm and a facilitator will spend time going over the five concepts, which range in price from $8.7- to nearly $20.1-million. The District has been exploring the possibility of expanding its facilities for some time, to handle increased in enrollment in the lower grades and as those students move through the ranks in the District.
Superintendent Mike Amstein said among the factors the Board must consider when it comes to approving one of the five concepts, is the number of current classes that are not being held in one of the District’s four buildings. There are currently two preschool classrooms at the old Lincoln Building, five Washington classes being held in two mobile classrooms (or trailers), and three classrooms currently at the Clarinda Building, which the District is leasing. According to Amstein, next year, the school district will need to add an additional 4th grade teacher at Schuler when the six sections of Third Grade moves into the Schuler Building.
There will be three sets of drawings showing the five concepts to made available to the public during Thursday night’s meeting.
The options were put together following a number of focus groups meetings that included staff, faculty, members of the community and others, a fact Board member Rod Hartwig pointed out during Monday night’s meeting. Hartwig said it was not the Board that came up with the options being considered, as some in the public seem to think.
The least expensive Concept (Concept 1) would have Pre-K through 2nd grade students at Washington Elementary, third through 5th grade students at Schuler Elementary, sixth through eighth grade at the Middle School, and the ninth through 12th grades at the high school. Among the other changes, would be the addition of classrooms at Washington, Schuler Elementary and at the High School, along with a new media center at Schuler, and new dining facilities at both Washington and Schuler. The cost is about $8.71-million.
Concept 2, which the first choice among faculty and staff, is also the most expensive, at $20.08-million. Among the differences from Concept 1, is that Schuler Elementary would house the 3rd & 4th grade students only, while the current Middle School would handle 5th & 6th grades. A NEW, 80-thousand square foot middle school would house the 7th and 8th grades and would be attached to the High School. It would also feature a competition gymnasium, but no auditorium. The high school would house 9th through 12th grade students, see additional classrooms constructed and an expansion of the Art room.
Possible site plan for the area south of the Washington School & new facilities.
The community meeting will begin at 7-p.m. Thursday, in the Commons Area at the Atlantic High School. Participants will be encouraged to provide feedback and input to the School Board during and after the session, with regard to the concepts to be presented.