Parents learned more about arrangements for an alternate middle school site while renovations are taking place at Kirn and Wilson Middle Schools, along with a few details about the Kirn project, during a meeting Thursday evening at Kirn.
A similar meeting with updates on the Wilson project will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Wilson.
School officials assured parents that transportation to the Madison Campus would be furnished.
“Everybody who lives in the Kirn district will get transportation to school,” said Tim Hamilton, director of student services.
After-school activities will continue to be offered, Hamilton said. There will be a late activity bus to take students home after those are finished. Students in competitive indoor sports will be bused to the Iowa West Field House for practices and bused home.
“The transportation is really important to us – that we provide transportation to all students,” Superintendent Vickie Murillo said.
Of course, students do not have to take the bus, if they have another way to get to school, she said. Signage and pavement markings at the Madison Campus will indicate where buses and parents should drop off and pick up students.
Two Extended Learning Program classrooms previously slated to move to Wilson Middle School during the Kirn renovation will be placed at the Madison Campus, Murillo said. The district is in dialogue with parents of Therapeutic Learning Program students about the placement of two classrooms.
There will be no locker rooms at the Madison Campus, although there will be two multipurpose rooms that will be used for physical education.
“We’ll have to modify the P.E. curriculum for one year,” said Corey Vorthmann, chief academic officer.
The Kirn pool will remain open throughout the competitive swim season, said Roger Slosson of BVH Architecture. Renovation of the locker rooms should be able to be completed during the off-season, he said.
The Madison Campus remodeling project has been put out for bids. The board of education will award a bid this month, and construction will begin in March. The facility is slated for completion by August, when it will be furnished largely with current pieces from Kirn. An open house will be held before fall classes start.
The contractor will need to run two shifts to get the remodeling done by fall, Murillo said. If the project is not finished in time, the move to the Madison Campus may be postponed until winter break.
“We have one shot to get this right, and we want to make sure it’s quality,” she said.
No major changes have been made to the renovation plans for Kirn since the bond election.
The main entrance to the school will be the set of doors in the middle of the front of the building and will be accessible by ramp or stairs. An addition will be built in the courtyard to hold the security vestibule and entry area. The entrance will have a new face, and there will be a high ceiling in the entrance and commons area and windows to admit natural light, Slosson said.
“What we were really trying to do is make the main entrance identifiable,” he said.
Visitors will enter through a security vestibule and will have to be buzzed into the office, where they will show an ID and get a visitor’s badge with their photo on it, said David Fringer, chief technology officer. Then they will be buzzed into the commons area. Security cameras will take photos of everyone entering or leaving the building.
The main gym will receive few changes. The second gym will become a multipurpose area that can be converted into a cafeteria or an auditorium, with the use of retractable seats with seatbacks for about 400 people and a movable stage. Acoustical improvements will be made to the gym to make it more conducive for use as an auditorium, and a new sound system will be installed.
The current auditorium will be turned into the bandroom, Slosson said. The fixed seats will be removed, and a terraced floor will be installed. Most concerts will still be held in the large gym.
Classrooms will be about 800 square feet – larger than the smallest classrooms in the building currently are, Slosson said. The sixth and seventh grades will be on the first floor, and eighth grade will be split between the first and second floors. A two-story classroom addition will be built in a notch in the back of the building where there is currently a small, one-story strip with two classrooms. Those will be removed and replaced with a structure that will support a second floor.
“Each grade level will have their own learning commons,” he said.
Those areas will have bookshelves, technology and mobile furniture that can be reconfigured for different activities, Slosson said. The learning commons will take the place of a central library.
Space for special programs will be expanded, he said.
The physical education locker rooms will have fully accessible restrooms. Each locker room will have two individual shower stalls. Showers will have a tile finish. The rest of the locker room floors will be coated with slip-resistant epoxy paint. Lockers will be replaced, and the entire locker room area will be repainted.
The football locker rooms (Kirn only) will follow a similar pattern. Likewise, the swimming area locker rooms will have fully accessible restrooms and shower, and existing lockers will be replaced. The entire locker rooms will be repainted, and the floor areas will be coated with slip-resistant epoxy paint.
Besides the locker area, the pool will remain the same, Slosson said.
There will be separate lanes for buses and parents dropping off their children in the morning at Kirn. Parents waiting to pick up their children after school will still park in the existing parking lots, Murillo said.
The plans and specifications for the Kirn renovation are to be ready by mid-March. The project will then go out for bids. A bid will be awarded by May, and construction will start that month. Completion is scheduled for July 2020.