Solving space needs at Community Elementary in Edgerton could involve building an addition or a separate facility, an architect said at Monday’s school board meeting.
Michael Hacker of Bray Architects gave a presentation outlining needs and potential upgrades at each of the district’s four schools.
He stressed no concrete solutions have been proposed, and there is no deadline for finding solutions. He told board members to take their time reviewing Bray’s report, which features more than 100 pages of site drawings, floor plans and infrastructural needs of each building.
The presentation was the latest step in Edgerton’s ongoing facilities assessment, which began in fall 2016.
Hacker said concerns about Community Elementary emerged repeatedly in his conversations with teachers and members of a citizen advisory committee.
The building serves kindergarten through fifth grade and currently houses 719 students. The building offers about 130 square feet of space per student, he said.
Traditional school designs generally offer 150 square feet per student. Hacker said that figure rises to 180 square feet in modern school architecture, which prioritizes shared classrooms or collaborative learning areas.
Fixing that space issue could involve building an addition and then dividing the revamped facility. One wing would house lower grades, and another would include higher grades, Hacker said.
Community Elementary is one of three schools on the district’s main campus. If there isn’t enough space on the property to make an addition, Edgerton could construct a new building off site.
At the middle school and high school, adding space to address crowded classrooms is less of a concern. Those buildings could use some improvements, such as signs or reorganized classrooms, but neither seems to require sweeping changes, Hacker said.
All four facilities could use security upgrades at their entrances and general code compliance updates, he said.
The district can expect enrollment to grow by roughly 140 students in the next decade. That would put the district at about 1,900 students by the 2026-27 school year, according to projections from UW-Madison’s Applied Population Lab.
Hacker said building needs listed in Bray’s extensive report are not yet prioritized. He wanted to document potential improvements at all four buildings so the school board and district administrators could have that data in one place.
School board President Matt Towns said the document will help the district and the citizen advisory committee move forward.
“Obviously, having a document like this, a resource like this where hopefully everything we need is here, kind of helps us close the door on the information-gathering piece, and we take the logical next step, which is looking for some solutions,” he said.