The three options for Grandview Heights Schools' facilities project each offer a slightly different approach to building a new grade 4-8 school and renovating Grandview Heights High School.

But they share one key factor, according to Perkins+Will architect Steve Turckes.

"Any one of the three would be a good long-term solution" to addressing the district's facility needs, said Turckes, a member of the design team that includes architects from both Perkins+Will and Moody Nolan.

The options were presented at community meetings Feb. 11 and 12 in the middle school commons. They followed an after-school gathering Jan. 22 in which current students were given the opportunity to weigh in.

In a change from what originally was proposed before voters approved a bond issue Nov. 6 to fund the facilities updates, two of the three options would proceed without any impact on students at the existing Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School facilities, Superintendent Andy Culp said.

One option still would require the middle school commons and gym to be razed ahead of construction because the south side of the new building would sit on a portion of the commons/gym footprint, he said.

The architects have been able to develop the other two options with building plans that wouldn't encroach onto the commons and gym, Culp said.

"That was one of the requests we made (to the design team) because we feel it would be less disruptive to our students," he said.

The new 4-8 building will be constructed in the area between the high school and the current Edison/Larson building.

In each possibility, fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms would be on the first floor of the new building, with middle school classrooms on the second floor, Turckes said.

A single kitchen would prepare meals for both middle school and high school students, with separate serving areas for the two buildings, he said.

Enhanced security features would be included in the new 4-8 building and also would be added to the high school and Stevenson Elementary School buildings, Turckes said.

"Each entry would be a secured vestibule," he said. "You would have to be identified before you would be allowed into the office area."

The new building would offer improved, "future-ready" learning spaces and allow students to work together in small groups in areas located just outside their classroom, Turckes said.

In the first option -- the one that would incorporate a portion of the current commons/gym footprint -- the main entrance to the 4-8 building would continue to be off Oakland Avenue. The district's central office would be placed next to the middle school administrative office near the school's front entrance, Turckes said.

The media center would be placed in the perimeter of the building, allowing it to have windows, and special-education classrooms would be on the second floor, he said.

In the second option, the entrance to the 4-8 building would be on the south side of the building facing the current Edison/Larson site, Turckes said.

The middle school and central offices would be just inside that entryway.

Special education would be on the second floor and the media center would be in a windowless room with skylights, he said.

Overall, the second option offers a more compact and efficient design and provides green space and a larger area for parking, Turckes said.

The third option's design also is more compact, but would move the central office to the second floor, he said.

One advantage in the third option is that special-education classrooms would be on the first floor, "and the middle school folks like that," Turckes said.

The design team held a series of workshops with a programming committee as it worked on the proposals, he said.

The committee includes district and building administrators, Edison/Larson and high school faculty, middle school and high school students and the design team, construction team and owner's representative for the facilities project.

The three options were presented to the committee at a Feb. 11 workshop, Turckes said.

The group's general preference was for the second scheme, he said.

But the community's input is needed to help shape the final design proposal, which will be recommended later this year for the board's approval, Culp said.

At each of the community meetings, residents were invited to place green and red stickers on poster-size depictions of the options to express what they liked and didn't like about the proposed design schemes.

Anyone who was unable to attend the community meetings can view the schemes and add their own comments by clicking on the "facilities planning" tab at the top of the home page on the district website, ghcsd.org, then on "design phase feedback" in the box on right side of the facilities planning page.

The next building-design community meetings will be held at 7 p.m. March 27 and 9 a.m. March 28 in the commons at Edison/Larson, 1240 Oakland Ave.

Each session will provide the same information, including an update on the building-design process and revisions to the proposed design options based on the community's feedback.

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