The community got a look at construction plans for Jefferson Elementary School on Tuesday, but the district still has some planning ahead.
The current plan, which was included in the Ardmore City Schools’ latest construction bond, includes a new entry way, parking lot and other smaller updates alongside a planned gymnasium. Beth Windel, with SDG Architects, led a presentation on the project at the board of education meeting Tuesday night.
“We’re really just trying to make it look like an extension of the old building and not just have it stand out,” Windel said.
She said the off-white bricks used to build the original
building weren’t easy to match, so the new building will invert the color scheme of the old with red brick and off-white accents.
Fenix Constructors estimated that the design will cost $3,270,671 in July and is currently working on an updated estimate for October. Windel said she estimates construction will begin in February 2019 and be complete by March 2020.
“We have some alternates for the project for cost control,” Windel said.
The gym will double as an auditorium with a stage, sound booth and retractable basketball goals. The walls of the dual purpose space featured acoustic panels in the design presented on Tuesday.
Currently, overflow parking at the school is on grass, which quickly becomes muddy when it rains.
The new design will separate the parent drop-off area and a bus loop from teacher and staff parking. The planned drop-off area also has an extended sidewalk to help prevent crowding in the morning and canopies to shelter students as they enter and exit the building.
“It will only be bus traffic one way, so all student pickups and drop-offs will be handled on the side of the building,” Windel said. “That will create a lot more safety, better traffic flow.”
Buses will exit on Fourth Street and cars will exit on E Street to stem congestion.
Winded said the planned entry way and lobby area is more in line with modern security standards and incorporate more glass into the design.
“That was really important for us,” Windel said. “That secure entry vestibule, all teachers and staff will come through those main doors. If you’re a visitor, you’d get buzzed in here, and then buzzed in again to get to reception.”
In addition, the new office area will include an updated nurse’s office with a shower.
“The nurse really wanted to have a space that has these specific features,” Windel said. “They sometimes have a need for that, so we have a private room with a shower in it. We took care to ensure we have a lot of privacy for the students and anyone that’s in that space.”