Preliminary DN school plan released


DEL NORTE — Residents of Del Norte and surrounding communities gathered at the Tiger Field House Tuesday, March 13 to see preliminary plans for the new school. Superintendent Chris Burr and representatives from TreanorHL Architects led the presentation.

Burr began the evening by recognizing the people who helped school officials reach this phase, beginning with the bond committee that made it all possible by getting the community to pass the bond issue last November.

Next, Burr asked the repurposing committee to stand and be recognized for their work in repurposing the old school buildings, something that according to Burr, is rare for a school to have a chance to do. So far, the committee has been able to sell the Mesa building, where the elementary students currently reside to the Del Norte Head Start and are continuing to work through proposals with other local organizations, like the Del Norte Fire Department, to repurpose some of the other buildings.

“This group of people are working closely with local organizations to find an agreement on some, if not all of our current buildings. We had to budget $2.4 million for demolition costs in order to be approved for the BEST grant. Now, thanks to the efforts of the repurposing committee, we will have even more money that is not spent on demolition to go towards our new school. From what I am told, we are one of the few, if not the only school, to have the opportunity to do this and as I understand it, there is a state mandate being pushed through to stop this process from happening in the future,” said Burr.

Burr then asked the Design Advisement Group to stand in front of the attending crowd so that residents could see the diversity of the group in charge of designing the school. “As you can see, we have teachers, school board members, members of the community and even students in the design advisement group. They worked through many long meetings to get us to the point where we are today to bring you the new school,” said Burr.

TreanorHL Architectural team LEED Chad Novak took the mic from Burr and welcomed everyone to the most exciting part of the presentation. “We are here to celebrate the completion of the schematic phase for your new school. Everything you see tonight is for the children in your community,” said Novak.

The preliminary school design showed a large, single level building that would house grades kindergarten through 12th. The structure was designed to separate the different grades while still increasing the safety of the school by keeping it in one building. The building will consist of the sports facility with two gyms, the main gym and an aux gym as well as the kitchen, cafeteria, a music room and shop area. Students K-6 will be in one wing with seventh and eighth grades in another and grades ninth through 12th in a third. Some of the classrooms will be multi-purpose rooms that will be used by all grades.

The preliminary timeline for the school will have students moving in by January of 2020. The next step will be to refine the design with even more details, looking at what the school wants inside classrooms and as far as technological advancements. The building will be a 21st Century school with all of the most state-of-the-art equipment that is common in schools today.

After design development, the construction paperwork begins, then the construction phase which will start as soon as mid-summer. “The community will help design this school and even though we can’t provide everything that is suggested, we want you to know that we are listening,” finished Novak.

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The Del Norte School District released preliminary plans for the new school during a public meeting on March 13.