Community feedback on building plans for two West Valley replacement elementary schools overwhelmingly favored the most compact of three options, which will be fleshed out with a floor plan and tentative price tag in the coming weeks.
Apple Valley and Summitview elementary schools are being replaced after voters approved a 20-year, $59 million bond measure in February. The funds will be matched with $12 million in state funds to replace the two schools, which district officials say are outdated and overcrowded.
Summitview is at 104 percent capacity with 337 students enrolled, while Apple Valley is at 150 percent capacity with 347 students, according to the district.
Architects are creating one identical plan for the two 550-student capacity, K-5 schools, which will save on design costs.
Last month, three schematic designs, or rough sketches, of the buildings were presented during a community meeting, and the district asked for feedback. During a follow-up meeting Tuesday, updated versions of two plans incorporating that feedback were presented to the community.
The most compact option, option C, received the most positive written feedback, and community members at the Tuesday meeting unanimously endorsed moving forward it.
“Is there any preference between what you see tonight?” Superintendent Michael Brophy asked the audience after a presentation and question period.
“I like C,” one audience member said, echoed by several others: “I’ve always liked C;” “I like C;” “C;” “C.”
Board members also lauded the plan, though it has not yet been approved officially. The board is scheduled to finalize a schematic design in early August.
“That really helps,” said architect Matt Whitish of Design West. “Now we can focus on one (design) and turn it into a real plan that’s easier for everyone to understand and start looking at the details.”
Whitish said he can now work on a detailed floor plan and a cost estimate for the board to approve. By August, he expects to have wall thickness and doors incorporated into the plan.
The building plan leaves buffer space on each site for future expansion if enrollment grows more. The sketch outlines a two-story, T-shaped classroom wing, and a gym to the right of the main entrance on the first floor.
Based on feedback, the architects incorporated special education classrooms into the main classroom wing and moved the library from the second floor to the main floor, said Whitish. The overall width of the building was reduced, allowing a better fit on the Summitview grounds and increased space between neighboring houses.
Additional feedback Tuesday may lead to restrooms added to the second-story classroom wing, and changes to the shape of the library and music rooms to eliminate possible wasted space.
Teachers have vacated both elementary schools, and the roughly 660 students across both campuses will be taught at West Valley High School Freshman Campus during the next two years of construction. Classrooms there will be set up in early August.
Freshmen will attend school at the main high school, just west of the freshman campus on Zier Road and 96th Avenue.
Demolition of both elementary schools is set to begin in October or November, and sidewalk and utility construction should begin in February.
A bond oversight committee, formed to ensure the developments are in line with what voters approved, will have its first public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday , July 16, in the West Valley High School library to review plans.
District interviews with two potential contractors will begin on July 24, and approval of the schematic design as well as a contractor will be made on Aug. 5, Brophy said.
Updates and visuals of the schematic designs can be found on the district construction planning site, wvbuildingourfuture.org.