The Milton School Board hopes to improve its communication with the community as the district proceeds with referendum projects.

The board on Monday unanimously approved schematic designs for additions and renovations to the district’s elementary schools.

Additions and renovations to the schools include:

Consolidated: A new front entry and administration area with existing administration area to become flexible teaching space, renovated restrooms to comply with the Americans With Disability Act, 904 square feet of renovations, and 955 square feet of additions.

Harmony: Four new classrooms, new restrooms, flexible space, 84 square feet of renovations and 6,109 square feet of additions.

East: Cafeteria and kitchen expansion, four new classrooms, an art room, a music room, a library, two restrooms, and a teacher’s lounge. All students will be brought up from the basement. There will be 4,429 square feet of renovations and 13,143 square feet of additions.

West: One classroom, a therapy classroom, a reading room, an art room, a music room, a new restroom, a health room, a tutoring site, 1,483 square feet of renovation and 7,160 square feet of additions.

The plans for East and West elementary schools are different from preliminary drawings presented before the referendum.

The addition at East was originally going to be a long addition to the northeast side of the building. Architects with Plunkett Raysich determined that a looped addition that would create an interior courtyard made more sense, said Scott Kramer, managing partner for the architecture firm.

East’s new addition adds square footage not included in pre-referendum designs. Architects were able to reduce some space from the West additions to offset costs and keep the projects on budget.

West’s additions will be on the south side of the building instead of the north side as originally planned, Kramer said.

The work planned at Consolidated and Harmony elementary schools is similar to the preliminary plans, Kramer said.

Resident Rick Ehle said in public comment he was disappointed Superintendent Tim Schigur did not offer an opportunity for the public to review building designs before they were finalized, as Ehle said Schigur promised months ago.

Board member Brian Kvapil said he also thinks community members should be allowed to give input.

Milton East Principal Jen Cramer asked Kvapil what input he thought the community could give that was more valuable than what staff members have given to the architects.

Kvapil said it might be better to at least offer a presentation to residents rather than solicit design advice from them.

Resident Chuck Jackson said most community members don’t have expertise in building design and recommended the district put a tab on its website where people could view referendum updates.

Board member Karen Hall said using the website to present information could improve communication. It might also be valuable to gather input from the community for larger projects, such as the high school’s new pool, she said.

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