Design chosen for new Casey school

October 28, 2003|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - A traditional design was selected Monday night for a new $6.5 million elementary school in eastern Casey County. Teachers and administrators chose the design from three preliminary drawings displayed by Lucas/Schwering Architects in Lexington.

The county Board of Education will get a chance to see the design at its Nov. 10 meeting.

The new school will consolidate Middleburg and Garrett elementary schools and will house 500 students. It will be built on a 40-acre tract on Ky. 70 East that the school board purchased in August from Lina Wells for $275,000.

"I think we will have a beautiful school," said Superintendent Linda Hatter.

She favored a pod concept at first, but decided later that the traditional classroom design may better suit the school. The pod concept has four classrooms grouped and a work area in each section.

"I liked the pod design for primary (students), but it would require more shifting from year to year to make it work," she said.


Hatter said she felt that some teachers were not happy with the pod concept. "They are going to be there," she said. "The kids will spend seven years of their life in the building, and the teachers even more." She said the decision is unanimous for both schools.

"This is a journey which will be fun, anguish, pure work and sometime spiritual," architect Larry Schwering told those at the meeting. He and Mark Clary will design the final plan.

Schwering said when the design is approved by the Board of Education, plans for construction will be made and bids will be sought. Once the construction begins, the building committee and architect will review the work as it progresses.

Construction will take at least 13 months

Schwering said construction will take at least 13 months, and he anticipates the school will open in the spring of 2006.

A "dream sheet" with ideas from personnel from both schools included plenty of storage, paved parking, a one-level design with courtyard and common area, no carpet, walking path, peaked roofs, auditorium, big playground, and outdoor shelter for picnic area.

The teachers want an administrative area, nurse's station, windows in all classrooms, greenhouse, art room, and play area for preschool.

A gymnasium with stage, walk track around the gym and exercise room for teachers, along with restrooms with self flushing toilets for the children were suggested. The teachers also wanted a lounge with restrooms, new furniture and adult workroom and a room where therapists can work with students.

Schwering said the wish list is not too much to ask and said the Board of Education has already planned for new furniture. Other suggestions included a larger music room, lots of storage space for each classroom, additional restrooms and concessions near the gym.

Glen K. Knauer of KTA Consulting Engineers in Lexington said the school will have geothermal heating and air conditioning with separate control units in each room.

The new school will have 17 classrooms with room for expansion, three classrooms for kindergarten students, two for preschool and seven for special education.

A combined gymnasium-auditorium, media center, offices, music and art rooms, physical education area, office for the school council, cafeteria and maintenance area also will be in the 57,730-square-foot school.

The younger children will be in a separate wing from the older children.

Clary said there will be no dark spaces and the design can be used as a teaching tool with squares, circles and curves. He also suggested the paint be in bright colors.

Schwering said the site is relatively flat and is a "good site on which to construct." Trees at the entrance will be saved. A sewage treatment plant will be included on the back of the property.

The state Transportation Cabinet will help with road improvements and turning lanes.

Plans calls for a pickup lane for parents dropping off and picking up children, and a separate one for buses. The waiting area will have a canopy.

Built in the 1930s, Middleburg school served as a high school, then converted to an elementary school in the 1970s. Garrett Elementary School was built in the 1950s.

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