Draft specifications presented for proposed school building projects
Draft educational specifications for two building projects were provided to members of the Board of Education and administration at the Tuesday, May 14, meeting.
The projects, slated for Royle and Tokeneke elementary schools, were proposed at the Tuesday, April 29 meeting as a way to combat the ever-increasing enrollment and decrease in space at the schools.
The first, and most cost-effective, would be an addition of seven or eight classrooms to the back of Tokeneke, Superintendent Stephen Falcone said at the April 29 Board of Education meeting. Construction at Tokeneke would be easiest because the original building firm and companies are still available for consultation. Additionally, the building is up to current code. The building, which is the newest elementary school is town, opened January 2008, which is after the International Building Code was adopted. The other elementary schools were built prior to the IBC.
Classrooms in Tokeneke have been converted from their primary use to make room for more instructional classrooms, like the band and general music classrooms.
"Let's get our classrooms back to what they were intended for," said BOE Chairman Betsy Hagerty-Ross.
Construction at Tokeneke school would add an additional seven classrooms to the building.
"Are we building as much as we can and maximizing the building expansion?" asked board member Susan Perticone.
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Director of Facilities Mike Lynch said he believes they are and that to build any further would impede on the wetlands near the property.
As part of the expansion at Tokeneke, the Early Learning Program, which is currently spread across schools in the district, would be housed under one roof.
The building project would include a two-story addition to the west wing of the school. The four classrooms on the ground floor would house the ELP program while the three or four classrooms on the second floor would be used for more institutional space.
According to the educational specifications, the addition would match the building.
Classroom sizes in Tokeneke and Royle elementary schools are 880-square feet and can house 26 students.
The project at Royle Elementary School would be the third since its opening in 1948.
The building recommendation outlined in the educational specifications call for the relocation of the kitchen next to the common room to create a cafeteria and common room space.
The current cafeteria and kitchen space would be converted into support staff offices, small group instruction, an art room and a computer room.
Moving the rooms would open up additional classroom space in the school and would add five classrooms.
The idea of redistricting, while not favorable, is not even possible. All of the schools are near or at capacity. If there were one schools that had a significant decreasing enrollment and a large amount of available space, redistricting would be feasible, according to Assistant Superintendent Judith Pandolfo.
Hagerty-Ross asked that the board review the draft education specifications. They will be what is presented to the Board of Selectmen when the Board of Education asks that a building committee be put together to oversee the two building projects.
The cost of the two projects is unknown.