I attended last night’s school board meeting so I thought I would provide an update for the upcoming school expansion project. For those of you that did not hear the final plan selection, the plan is to have an addition put on the Kindergarten Academy. This addition will also include the relocation of the district offices. There will be 1st through 3rd grades at Northside, Broad St., Shepeherdstown, and Upper Allen. These schools will all undergo renovations to make sure they are up to date in terms of technology and learning style. There will then a 4th/5th Grade Academy at Elmwood and Elmwood's second floor will be renovated into classrooms again. There will be renovations at the middle school and high school also but these renovations have not yet been discussed or planned. The immediate need is at the elementary level where the class size is quickly growing.
Right now the district is working with Crabtree, Rohrbaugh, and Associates to develop the plans for the Kindergarten Academy and Elmwood Elementary School. They are hoping to be able to bid out the project for Elmwood by the end of the year with the construction starting in early 2018 and then Kindergarten Academy will be bid out early in 2018 with construction hopefully starting in the Spring. Elmwood will be ready for student use by next school year. In planning both these buildings, extensive research is going into how it will effect local travel patterns. Both schools plan to have large drop off zone for parents so that should help to decrease traffic backup on adjoining roads. In addition, at this point it looks like the entry for Kindergarten Academy will be relocated to the back to help limit reduce on traffic issues that occur at that school.
As last night's meeting, the district authorized Crabtree, Rohrbaugh, and Associates to start to design the refurbishments for the other 4 elementary schools. Along with this the school is also starting to look into potential changes for Memorial Stadium and the addition of a Wildcat Activity Center at the high school. These are only in the very preliminary stages but the school is going to continue the process of designing these plans and finding outside funding sources for them. The upgrades at Memorial Stadium will potentially include constructing a new field house that has team rooms along with new ticket booths and a new entrance way, renovate current field house and public restrooms, and renovate the concession stand. The Wildcat Activity Center will provide for an additional multi-purpose room, public restrooms for outdoor contests, and a garage for storage and an equipment room. This will also create more space for additional locker rooms at the high school. The addition of the Wildcat Activity Center will not only benefit the athletics program by providing more practice space but it will also benefit the community by providing additional gym space available for community use and the music program by providing potential practice space.