Brian Roebke photo
Board President Mike Van Eperen views the screen showing the middle and elementary school building additions and renovations at last week’s board of education meeting at Wrightstown Elementary School.
By Brian Roebke
The picture is getting clearer for the Wrightstown Community School District as to what the new building additions and renovations could look like.
Clint Selle, architect with Bray Architects, led the board of education through a “walk through” of the elementary and middle school buildings at last week’s meeting. Teachers already saw the presentation.
Through the magic of technology, Selle showed the interior and exterior of the current school look as designed by moving the mouse on his computer.
“We’re reaching the 70 percent progress milestone at the end of this month,” Selle said about the design work.
The final drawings are scheduled on Feb. 4 and the project will be put out to bid in March. They will submit needed plans to the village’s plan commission on Dec. 14. Plans are very close to the budget.
The front of the current gymnasium has a gabled roof that has a new roof put in front of it, with a new mechanical structure between the building and sidewalk that holds the new chiller, generator and electrical service that needs to be placed on that side of the building. It will be shielded from view by a fence-like structure that holds the school name and blends with the rest of the building.
The new gym has some nice sized windows that allow natural light in to reduce the amount of electricity needed inside.
Bray is trying to find a red colored brick that matches the several different red colored bricks currently adorning the outside of the structure that’s had several additions made to it.
The roof over the main office will be a grey-colored metal.
Some of the entrances have a metal panel material, with the color still in flux. It started with a yellow mustard color but as it changed, they lost the “pop” they were looking for.
The new elementary office includes two work stations to greet people, with offices behind.
The color palette for the inside of the building includes a toned-down Wrightstown blue along with green and rust colors that indicate the area of the building people are in. Green is the color for the lower grades, with blue for the middle grades and rust for the oldest students.
Superintendent Carla Buboltz said the colors they chose are calming, timeless and welcoming.
Wood framing is utilized in several areas of the entire building to create an accent and viewer interest.
A multi-purpose space could hold board meetings, with flexible furnishings creating a variety of options for during and after school.
There is a wide corridor by the first grade rooms where furniture could be added and break out areas created.
“One of the things we talked a lot about was trying not to have the addition and the existing building feel too different from one another, the common thread of trying to create a like-new facility when we’re all complete,” Selle said.
The paint colors and building materials help people feel the building is whole instead of different pieces.
A few of the classrooms are being opened up by removing walls to create flexible resource learning spaces.
The computer lab has computers along the outside walls with the interior of the room being flexible for many different functions in addition to a computer lab. Alongside the new art room is a “maker space” that can be utilized by art, computer lab or library.
“We are putting windows into the hallway from this space because the thought is the district may look to get some 3D printers to support this space with some other technology and what a great way to have kids get interested in it if they can actually see the technology and see what’s happening in that space,” Selle said.
The cafeteria is expanded to include an area currently serving as the district office. They hope to improve the serving area so it flows better and has a look that is cohesive with the rest of the building.
One of the challenges is the narrow hallway leading to the current gym that will be converted to a district maintenance storage, music room and multipurpose art and music room. As the school enrollment increases, just one art and choir room will not be enough.
The new gymnasium has the traditional royal blue for Wrightstown, including the logo on the floor and bleachers.
Bathrooms have sinks outside, adjacent to the hallway, reducing congestion inside and making supervision easier. Each 4K and 5K classroom has its own bathroom.
There is an outdoor courtyard with a look that’s still evolving, with the hope they can create ways for students to learn with on nice days of the year.
This building will have a new entrance off School Street, with a new office toward that side of the street. New windows are planned for the cafeteria area for more natural light.
“We’re doing our best to tie into the architecture of the existing building,” Selle said.
The look of the office mimics the new elementary school office.
They will maintain as much of the existing terrazzo floor as they can. All of ceilings in the corridors will be replaced, with new lighting installed.
The entrances to the cafeteria will have overhead doors that recoil into the ceiling with the touch of a button, allowing for added flexibility for the use of that space.
“From a day-to-day function they might be open quite a bit,” Selle said.
The doors will open for students to enter and exit for lunches but can be closed for in-school meetings or after school and function as another learning space.
The kitchen and serving area is being moved to the east to take the place of current classrooms. The current office will become guidance counselor offices another flexible meeting space, and a new health classroom.
The choir space will be on the current stage that will be closed off from the gym.
The tech ed area will be updated with more openness to the entrance area and a wall added to separate the area into “clean, design” and “implementation or building” sides.