A rough draft of the Chillicothe R-2 district’s long-range building plan was presented to about 50 members of the community who attended the fourth community forum on the topic at the Performing Arts Center Thursday night.
A rough draft of the Chillicothe R-2 district’s long-range building plan was presented to about 50 members of the community who attended the fourth community forum on the topic at the Performing Arts Center Thursday night. Community input on district building plans was gathered by architects through previous community forums and from the online survey taken by more than 500 people late last year. At the last community forum, those in attendance were asked to look at a number a building plan options architects had created based off of prior community input and architectural surveys of each of the buildings. From these building plans, those in attendance selected their favorite plans, which narrowed the eight building options to four. Then, architects and the R-2 board of education further looked at the community’s top four options and narrowed it down to one by combining the strengths of the two options the community seemed to like best. Hollis and Miller Architects, which the school district has been working with on this long-range plan for almost a year, were at the forum last night to present the building plan they created based off of all the forums, workshops and surveys done thus far. Feedback was gathered and written down by architects at the forum; some good points were made and architects plan on looking into the suggestions made and possibly incorporating them into the building plan. The long-range building plan was presented to those at the forum in a timeline divided into three sections: 2016, 2026 and 2031. The goal of the district is to consolidate district buildings into two campuses in the next 15 years (a high school / middle school campus at the existing high school site and an elementary campus at the existing middle school site). However, due to bonding issues and availability of money, creating two campuses will not be possible to do all at once. Therefore, the building plan is broken into three phases. If the issue is passed by voters in April 2016, architects said they would break ground on the first phase of the building plan in late July or early August 2016, making it possible for phase one to be done by the 2017-2018 school year. In 2016, the plan is to create a new pre-school / kindergarten facility at the existing Chillicothe Middle School site ($5.4 million). An addition will also be added on the existing middle school site for fifth grade ($3.6 million). Garrison School (currently housing pre-school students) will be demolished ($500,000) and the property will potentially be sold. The Pink House, which also currently houses pre-school students will also be demolished ($30,000) and be potentially used for more parking for Grand River Technical School. Dewey Elementary School, which currently houses kindergarten and first grade, will be renovated to house grades one and two ($800,000). Field Elementary School will be renovated to house grades three and four ($250,000) and Central Elementary School will be demolished ($215,000) and potentially sold. It is also in the plan for 2016 to put a new roof on the high school ($1 million ) and update the safety and security of the Grand River Technical School ($120,000). The total estimated cost of phase one is $11,516,000. In 2026, when the high school is fully paid off, phase two will begin. During this phase, a new third / fourth grade addition would be added to the fifth grade addition at the existing middle school site ($6 million). Field School will be demolished ($108,000). A new district office will be constructed at the existing high school site ($1 million), and the old office will be sold. Dewey will continue to house grades one and two. The total estimated cost of this phase is $7,108,000. In 2031, during phase three, a new middle school site would be created at the high school campus ($23.4 million). The existing middle school would be repurposed for grades one and two to move in ($4,000,000). Dewey Elementary School would be demolished ($250,000). The total estimated cost for this phase is $27,650,000. Drawings of the middle school add-ons were shown at the forum. A two-story pre-school / kindergarten facility was shown standing behind the existing middle school Field House and a fifth grade addition was created in the existing middle school gap between existing middle school buildings. This fifth grade addition would link the two existing middle school buildings. A pre-school / kindergarten playground area was drawn in between the existing Field House and two story pre-school / kindergarten building to be constructed. Green space and a “hard play” area was drawn behind the fifth grade addition to be constructed, and parking areas were drawn behind the other existing middle school building. However, this layout is subject to change, according to Hollis and Miller architects. After the presentation, there were many suggestions, comments, concerns and questions, which were all written down by Hollis and Miller architects to take into consideration and were all addressed by architects and Superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes.