New district facilities plan brings the idea of change to schools

Athletes at pattonville manage the stresses on and off the field and classroom

Athletes at pattonville manage the stresses on and off the field and classroom

Brittany Bell

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There are changes being made within the Pattonville School District and a group of parents, teachers and students got together to look for ways to make Pattonville a better place for its students and faculty. The ideas within the plan did not only come from those in the committee, but from the community as well.

“Right now, we are in the process of updating the facilities master plan,” assistant principal Mr. Gene Grimshaw said. “This process has included input from the community, faculty and students.”

According to the district in its Overview and Funding flyer, Pattonville will work over the next few months to finalize a plan that could be funded by a zero tax rate increase bond issue. Pattonville currently has the capacity to issue between $20 million to $23 million in bonds without raising its debt service levy to complete construction projects in the plan

One of the largest changes being considered in this year’s facility draft plan is using the building that formerly was Briar Crest Elementary School and renovating it to become a new district-wide early childhood center. Briar Crest was closed in 2012 due to budget constraints and students were redistricted into other existing elementary school buildings.

READ PATTONVILLE’S DRAFT FACILITIES PLAN

READ PATTONVILLE’S OVERVIEW AND FUNDING

This change would enable preschool classes from Pattonville’s elementary schools to be housed in one location with existing staff and free up elementary classroom space across the district.

Changes and improvements were planned for each of the school buildings from each elementary school all the way up to the high school. There are also plans for changes in transportation, the community auditorium, and the Learning Center.

Some of the improvements planned for the high school, which was built in 1971, include: improving the heating and cooling systems, repairing the parking lot, providing ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access to soccer fields, and purchasing new fitness equipment.

This new facilities plan will work to make these improvements throughout the year in attempt to address four challenges.

Challenge 1 is addressing ongoing maintenance and repair of aging facilities. In the high school, they are carrying out Challenge 1 by making renovations to the locker rooms and concession stand, as well as replacing the terrazzo in stairwells and painting the brick.

Challenge 2 deals with enhancing school safety and security. The high school is planning to add new ventilation hoods in the chemistry lab and providing improved locking and security.

Alleviating space issues in the elementary schools is Challenge 3 and is a challenge the district is hoping to work out. Making Briar Crest an early childhood center will relieve some of the overflow of students in the elementary schools.

The final Challenge is providing facilities to support students’ lifetime fitness and involvement in school. One of the ways the high school is going to do this is by buying new fitness equipment and installing sun shades in the aquatic complex.

More will be known about the finalized facility master plan in January.

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New district facilities plan brings the idea of change to schools