BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Members of the Delano School Board got a look at the design of the new intermediate school for grades four through six and the redesign of the high school during their July 25 meeting.
Vaughn Dierks, of Wold Architects and Engineers, walked the board members through the design of both buildings, their site plans, and some plans for the campus overall.
“We’re pursuing the site on the northwest corner of the campus,” Dierks said of the intermediate school. “We will maintain Tiger Drive in its current location as it moves through the site, but the city will be making recommendations in terms of road width, alignment, things of that nature as we carry through.”
Closer to the secondary school, Tiger Drive will change.
“We will be moving Tiger Drive over to the right, so instead of having parking on both sides of Tiger Drive and having students cross Tiger Drive from the tennis area, this will pull all parking for the students onto the main parking lot,” Dierks said. “It removes the four-way stop that slows traffic down in this area, so hopefully we can improve some of our traffic issues. It creates a longer queue space for drop off for the building because we’ll be going with one entry point . . . which should help with some of our pick-up and drop-off issues, as well.”
No parking spaces will be lost or gained as those parking lots are reconfigured and staff parking behind the secondary school is eliminated.
As for the buildings, the new intermediate school will be organized around a commons area that students will enter through the bus drop-off or through the main entrance, which will feature a secure vestibule.
The front of the building will feature a music room, with art and flexible classroom space located south of the commons, near the offices.
The media center will be located on the second level.
Each wing of the building will have a theme rather than being named after grades “to allow for flexibility in how you organize the building, but still give the students a way to find them,” Dierks said.
The classrooms themselves will have movable glass walls.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see that,” Chair Amy Johnson said. “How will it work in lockdown situations?”
“What we do for lockdown is, rather than look at classrooms as lockdown points, the lockdown actually occurs at the entry point of each of those wings,” Dierks said. “The doors there are tied into the alarm systems. They close down at that point and won’t let anyone back into those wing areas. Part of the safety and security procedure is that people exit those wings, as opposed to being barricaded inside the classrooms, so the security line actually moves toward the main hub.”
As for the exterior appearance of the building, it will feature different colors of brick, including a light blue color as an accent. All classrooms will have windows, as will the gym, to allow for natural light.
Dierks said the plan is to go out for bids for the building in late fall, with about a year of construction beginning in the spring.
In contrast, the secondary school redesign project will begin in the late fall of 2016, with a projected completion date during the summer of 2019.
“New construction of the intermediate school is fun because you’ve never seen it before. It’s also easy, in our minds, because it’s new construction. An existing building poses another set of challenges for a number of different reasons,” Dierks said, noting that the secondary school is larger, will have two fewer grades in it than it has currently, and many people have preconceptions of what it should look like.
Dierks said the only portions of the building not being touched are the Tiger Activity Center gym and the newest classroom additions.
Like the intermediate school, the secondary school will have a secured entrance, which will be at the same level as the existing cafeteria floor. It will also have an upper commons area where the current office space is located now.
There will be one media center for all six grades in the building, located where the existing middle school commons and media center is currently.
Individuals visiting the district office will have a more direct route than they do now.
“The district office relocates from the back of the building to the southeast corner, currently the middle school science rooms,” Dierks said. “This will allow visitors to the district office not to have to go all the way back to the furthest areas of the school. It creates a secure entrance for that point.”
Dierks’ full presentation is available online at www.delano.k12.mn.us/.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• approved the long-term facilities maintenance 10-year plan. The plan calls for estimated expenditures of $224,000 in 2017; $986,500 in 2018, including $550,000 for roof systems; $359,000 in 2019; $206,000 in 2020; $2,619,000 in 2021, including $2,430,000 for a boiler; $771,000 in 2022, including $570,000 for roof systems; $868,000 in 2023, including $330,000 for site projects; $890,500 in 2024, including $620,000 for roof systems; $682,500 in 2025, including $410,000 for building envelope; and $1,894,500 in 2026, including $1,030,000 for site projects and $620,000 for roof systems. LTFM estimated revenue will range from $838,440 in 2017 and $1,140,630 in 2018 to about $1,494,000 each of the last eight years.
“Some years, we carry over quite a bit, but some of our projects that we have coming down the line are quite large, like when we have to redo the boiler system that’s $2.5 million, we need to save up, and we won’t have the money to do that until fiscal year 2021,” Business Manager Mary Reeder said during the work session. “That was going to be a part of the deferred maintenance for the bond project, and I don’t think the money is going to be there to do it.”
• approved a resolution converting a voter-approved referendum authority to board-approved referendum authority. Superintendent Matt Schoen explained that the district has the authority to move up to $300 per pupil to a board-approved referendum, which will replace the voter-approved referendum of $315 per pupil, and will slightly decrease taxes in the next fiscal year.
• approved personnel matters including the resignations of district nurse Jane Larter, Delano Middle School nurse Joy Bolea, and second-grade teacher Jake Peterson; the hiring of Jennifer Lorentz as a human relations compensation and benefits specialist, Laura MacLean as a Delano Elementary School physical education teacher, and Caitlin Pekuri as a DES special education teacher; the administrative assistants group labor agreement; the custodian and maintenance employees labor agreement; and an agreement with Lorentz.
• accepted donations of nearly $15,679 from 10 different entities. See the agenda on the district website for the full list.
• approved the first of two reads of Policy 410 regarding family and medical leave, Policy 707 regarding transportation of public school students and Policy 707.1 regarding transportation of students placed in day treatment programs. Policy 707.1 is a new policy that states the district may refuse to provide transportation of a student to a day treatment facility if another facility is at least 10 miles closer to the student’s home and is sufficient to meet the needs of the student. Exceptions to that condition apply if the closer facility is not covered by the parent’s or legal guardian’s insurance for any reason or the facility denies the student for reasons such as no openings.
• approved the community education handbook for non-certified employees.