Plunkett Raysich Architects, LLP Partners Nick Kent and Devon Kack presented two options for the future of Riverview Elementary School.

According to Mr. Kent, the ultimate goal of the presentation was to have the Board decide on one of the options in order for CG Schmidt to give a cost estimate for the community survey set to be distributed in the fall. The options presented came from close collaboration with Wautoma Area School District Administrator Tom Rheinheimer and Riverview Principal Jewel Mucklin as they looked not only at the future of the building, but how to restore and maintain it and provide flexibility.

 While presenting the first option, Mr. Kack stated the Board was seeing a Master Plan for the front of the building as what they were seeing didn’t exist yet. This particular option showed what could be done if the four parcels in front of the school were acquired. He explained how the drop off/pick up would work with this particular traffic pattern allowing for a very clear separation from the buses and parent drop-off/pick-up. However, with the houses still there, the second option he presented also allowed for some traffic separation but not as much.

Mr. Kack stated in both options there would be an addition for the office to offer a more secure entry as well as building the art and music rooms near the gymnasium. By moving these classrooms closer to the gym, it opens space for Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy and 4K and Early Childhood classrooms to be at the front of the school and A+ After School to be housed in the gym/art/music classrooms rather than throughout the building.

 While looking at the whole child, the special education, small intervention spaces and collaborative learning spaces would be filtered throughout the school and a STEM Room would be created near the library. By doing this, it allows the students to be with their grade level if they need to be pulled out of class for services or to work together in a team setting. The layout of the school also provides better circulation to learning spaces and the opportunity for a courtyard to be built near the center of the school.

 In an effort to have a fully functioning gymnasium, Mr. Kack stated the gym floors would be restored and the kitchen and cafeteria would be moved to an addition located in the back of the school. The Commons to be used as a large gathering space, cafeteria and kitchen and would be 7 feet down, allowing for the playground’s hill to be removed. A secure entry gate would also be added for emergency vehicles and truck access for receiving and garbage collection.

In addition to the Commons and kitchen an amphitheater would be contracted, which could be utilized as an outdoor classroom, a stage, or for community events. The plan also includes the construction of two age-appropriate playgrounds, a green space that could double as a small soccer field and a blacktop area.

According to Mr. Kack, the only real difference between the first and second option was the location of the Commons as well as the drop off/pick-up sequence. The second option has a less narrow entry for trucks to come to the back of the school, and the Commons would be more centralized to the entire school, allowing for all students to benefit from this space.

Following the presentation, Mr. Kack and Mr. Kent asked the Board their opinions on which option they would prefer to be cost estimated by CG Schmidt. Mrs. Lehr stated she liked the second option due to the fact that the Commons was more central to the entire school and allowed for more truck space for deliveries and garbage pick-up. Mr. Peterson added he felt the second option was the best one to present to the community as it still shows the homes in front of the school, and if the land was ultimately obtained the district could move forward with the first option for drop off/pick-up traffic.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Mrs. Lehr asked Ms. Mucklin her opinion on which option she felt would be best to present to the public. Ms. Mucklin stated the second option for the reasons the Board discussed as well as providing a better flow of the building and public accessibility.

Following the presentation and discussion, Mr. Rheinheimer stated the next step in the process will be for School Perceptions to come to the meeting on August 8 to share their draft community survey with the Board. If the Board approves the draft at the August Monthly Meeting, the survey will begin to be distributed to homes in the community in mid-September.