Schools jammed when scheduling activities
New cafeterias, gym space, classrooms recommended for elementary level
By Heather McDonald
In order to meet program and education needs for students, many Stevens Point Area Public School District elementary schools should have either cafeteria, gymnasium and/or classroom additions constructed, according to a recently released report.
In addition, classroom remodeling and relocation is recommended throughout the district’s nine elementary schools to meet the needs of special education students, many of whom currently are being taught in closet-like spaces and hallways.
Nexus, the firm hired nearly two years ago to conduct a study of all 18 facilities in the district to determine programmatic and maintenance needs as well as funding sources, recently reported the information in its findings. District administration unveiled the list to School Board members Monday, April 16, which also includes remodeling, expansion and maintenance recommendations for the junior highs, high schools and district facilities.
Across the district at the elementary level, principals are asking for eight new kindergarten classrooms, four new kitchens and/or cafeterias, two new gymnasiums, two additional classrooms and creating space for special education needs throughout.
There also are remodeling needs for office space, safer entryways, student drop-off and pick-up reconfigurations and additional parking.
School principals said providing a proper education for the students when having to schedule around lunch time is challenging because lunch and physical education are both held in the same space.
Between about 11 a.m. and close to 1:45 pm. at McDill elementary, the cafeteria/gymnasium holds lunch for the more than 370 kindergarten through sixth-grade students, limiting the times available for physical education (P.E.), which in turn impacts the time of day when other programs can occur.
“The kindergarten, first- and second-grade students have P.E. when the other kids have lunch” because of the need to share space, McDill Principal Jean Koepke said. “Our reading blocks and (other programs) focus on when the kids can have P.E., so we can’t teach the way we need to.”
In addition, McDill is a production site for four elementary schools, so the kitchen area is impacted and needs more space, she said.
Across the district, special education classes are being held in different spaces, including the hallways, as there are limited classrooms and suitable locations, principals said. In some schools, the English language learners and speech therapy class is next to band/orchestra, hampering the ability to learn language techniques and skills.
“What we’re finding is we try to be in the classrooms as much as possible serving the students, but there are many times we do need to meet with them individually or in small groups for privacy or to help their focus,” McKinley Principal Amanda M. Zanchetti-Mayo said.
While McKinley has the square footage needed, the configuration needs adjustment, she said.
“What I’m hearing is that across the district…we’ve been by hook or by crook locating space where we can, but it doesn’t provide the privacy for the students who need that special support and at the same time allow for minimal disruption to provide education to other students,” said Meg Erler, School Board president.
“So how can we best make classroom areas specialized to that classroom and also provide the pull-out support needed for students,” she said.
For detailed information, watch the board meeting at www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WmxaGUENv8&index=2&t=0s&list=PLHx4aqdUeod1sG8yYIeCbiptD2CWjsj4F.
Project costs have been identified, however, they were not publicized at the meeting. Administration will present the figures to the School Board in May.
All district buildings had deferred maintenance identified.
Other educational, programmatic needs include:
Bannach: Two new kindergarten classroom addition, converting locker room to gym storage, add doors to the kitchen storage and add windows to cafeteria. Changes needed in parking and parent pick-up area.
Jefferson: Remodel locker rooms and kitchen into office, storage and special ed classroom and create staff restrooms; add a new cafeteria and kitchen; reconfigure southeast exit, restrooms for kindergarten and special ed and Americans with Disabilities Act remodeling. Add parking.
Kennedy: Add four kindergarten classrooms with restrooms, office and secure entry addition, new gymnasium, kitchen and receiving addition, remodeling cafeteria into library, remodeling existing gym into cafeteria, renovate office area into special ed and reading room. Outdoors expand parking, relocate hard surface play area and parent loop.
Madison: Expand two kindergarten classrooms, add a gym and receiving area, remodel locker rooms into special ed and gym storage, infill courtyard to create two special ed classrooms, remodel office and create secure entry. Outdoors expand parking.
McDill: Remodeling for special ed classrooms, office and add a kindergarten room; add new cafeteria and kitchen and receiving. Outdoors expand parking and extend bus lane.
McKinley: Create a new ELL room and exit, add a bump out for staff lounge, expand kitchen and receiving area, renovate locker rooms into speech-language rooms, remodel to relocate two kindergarten rooms and special ed rooms, relocate art and storage, enclose second story balcony and add doors between fifth- and sixth-grade rooms. Outdoors add fencing to enclose the playground, add parking.
Plover-Whiting: Cafeteria, receiving and music addition; office and entrance addition; remodel to expand library, create commons areas, remodel kindergarten room into two special ed classrooms. Outdoors pave the gravel parking area.
Roosevelt: Expand cafeteria and kitchen/receiving, add two classrooms for fifth- and sixth-grades, remodel locker rooms into speech-language area, remodel ELL area. Outdoors create a new drive for north staff parking lot.
Washington: Remodel locker rooms and band office/conference room for special ed and ELL, remodel for two kindergarten rooms with restrooms, expand and remodel office with a secure entrance, remodel northeast wing to create full-size classrooms.
Ben Franklin: Add gymnasium, fitness center and health classroom; expand cafeteria; reconfigure the FACS; add a special ed and lounge section; remodel library; reconfigure office and secure entry.
Point of Discovery: Demolish restrooms to create a collaboration area, add windows to art and maker space areas; add doors and corridor for separation of professional development area and the school with secured separation, furniture for classroom and discovery room.
P.J. Jacobs: Addition for wrestling and cardio rooms, new secure entrance with office reconfiguration and study hall addition, add sound reduction panels to gym, create restrooms in lower level.
Charles Fernandez: First floor remodeling for office space with the classrooms and a special ed room, conference room and work room; second floor remodeling for classrooms, commons, kitchen, office space and small group work.
SPASH: New entrance and new commons/cafeteria, windows added to classrooms above commons area, new two-court gymnasium with locker rooms and public restrooms, dedicated gymnastics space, tech ed lab expansion and office remodeling, create main entry vestibule, learning commons furniture grouping, remodel five restrooms on main, reconfigure parking lot and drive for addition.
Bliss Educational Services Center, support services and technology had only deferred maintenance identified; the bus garage also had expansion of east bay.