New Albany News

New school building

Domine expects final design plan by month's end

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The New Albany-Plain Local school board on April 22 reviewed updated plans for the district's new building and revealed a tentative timeline for adopting a final design.

The changes were expected to be reviewed at a public forum May 1 and again at the school board's May 6 workshop.

Superintendent April Domine said the facilities committee would review the plans May 13 and the financial review and reporting committee would follow suit May 17.

She said she wants to have a final design draft ready at the next school board meeting May 20.

District officials hope to break ground this spring, perhaps as soon as the end of the month, Domine said. They hope to open the building by fall 2014.

The building and site improvements will be funded by a $45.1 million, 2.59-mill bond issue local voters approved last November.

The new Georgian-style building is planned between the 2-5 elementary building and New Albany Middle School, with corridors connecting to both buildings. It would be oriented east to west, with three north-to-south wings.

Domine said April 22 the classroom spaces have been changed from the original draft design and now include clusters of four adjacent classrooms instead of three.

She said the change was recommended by teachers, who want to be able to work with three other teachers in the same grade. The classrooms are being designed so that walls can be removed and several classrooms can be combined.

The design has 12 classrooms for 25 students and one teacher in four locations: on the first and second floors of the east and west wings of the building.

Classrooms for art, music and wet and dry laboratories are included.

The building plans also have sparked discussion about how to approach dining options.

Kevin Harrison, principal with the Harrison Planning Group of Columbus, which is working on the design with Moody-Nolan of Columbus, said planners are working to improve food service across the district as part of the project.

Harrison said food-service workers suggested setting up smaller, more specialized food stations for students, like what is offered to middle and high school students now.

Harrison said students might be encouraged to use more of the common spaces in the building for eating, possibly even eating in their classrooms.

Domine said eating in different areas could be offered more as a privilege that would have to be earned.

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