ASHLAND – The schematic design for the new elementary school and the method by which the project will be managed were approved by the Ashland-Greenwood Board of Education Monday night, along with a resolution issuing the first set of bonds for the $59.9 million project.
Plans for the facility that will house pre-kindergarten to second graders were presented by representatives of DLR Group in November. After studying the plans for a month, the school board was ready to move on to the next step, which was to approve the schematic design.
Pat Phelan of DLR Group said the schematic design includes the site, size, general layout and programming for the building. After approving schematic design, the next step is design/development, where tweaks can be made to the plans as they are prepared for the contract document.
The elementary school will have one pod per grade level, with a dedicated separate entrance/exit for the Pre-K pod. Each pod will have classrooms, small group rooms, a learning commons, resource rooms and bathroom facilities. The concept for the building will be centered on nature. Each pod will have a nature-related name.
Board Member Suzanne Sapp said as a former elementary school teacher, she is pleased with the design so far.
“Coming from the teacher side of it I thought it was very well thought out and very efficiently designed,” she said. “I felt it was very well planned.”
The Pre-K-2 facility is part of an overall $59.9 million bond issue that was approved by voters in November. Construction on the elementary school is set to begin in the spring.
The project will also include a new middle school and performance auditorium, which will be built later. Phelan said construction should start in the fall on this building.
Superintendent Jason Libal asked Phelan if the plans for the performance auditorium could be presented earlier so the fundraising campaign can get started. Libal said he talked to potential donors in the last few weeks and they are ready to start raising money, but they would like to have designs in hand to help the campaign.
The board also formally approved the choice of using the construction manager at risk method to manage the entire bond issue project. In the construction manager at risk delivery method, the owner (the school district) hires the architect/engineer (DLR Group) and then interviews several potential construction managers. Bids do not need to be submitted by the prospective construction managers in this method. The subcontractors provide bids to the construction manager for their portion of the project, however.
The school board used the construction manager at risk method when the 2009 school bond issue project was completed at the elementary and middle school/high school.