Task force will explore facility needs
With the major building projects from a 2004 facilities task force all wrapped up, Independent School District 192 will start looking around next month to see what else their buildings might need.
A new facilities task force will start meeting in mid-April to explore needs in buildings around the district. The resulting recommendations aren't likely to be as grand as those in the last facilities report. That report recommended the district build its new high school and a sixth elementary school.
Of the projects identified in that last plan, which also included transforming the former Farmington Middle School East into an elementary school and turning the old high school into a middle school, only the sixth elementary school hasn't been built. That project was put on hold when enrollment did not grow as quickly as expected.
The idea this time around is to look at everything from space needs to technology opportunities to safety concerns.
"We need to take a look at our (enrollment) numbers, what's changed in our district," superintendent Brad Meeks said. "Obviously, when you add new schools you've raised the bar. Part of what we want to look at is equity throughout our schools."
Equity could be an issue at the elementary and middle levels. Because of their size, Riverview Elementary and Boeckman Middle School have room for classes and opportunities that are not currently available at other schools. Riverview, for example, has space for dedicated science classrooms. Meeks said an increasing interest in science and technology education in general could lead to a discussion of whether science labs should be added at other district elementary schools.
The district will work with the Cuningham Group, an architecture firm, on the facilities plan. The task force will feature district employees, but Meeks also hopes to draw representatives from the community.
"We want a lot of different perspectives as we move through this," he said.
Meeks expects to make a recommendation to the school board by October.
Anyone interested in participating in the facilities planing process should call Aaron Tinklenberg at 651-463-5079 or e-mail email@example.com.