Friday, March 7, 2014

Community School plans new middle school facility

Sun Valley P&Z to review design Monday

Express Staff Writer

   The Community School plans to demolish its current middle school building and replace it with a new structure that would be more than twice as large.
    On Monday, March 10, the Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing at City Hall to discuss the school’s design review application and its master plan for development over the next 10-15 years.
    The design review application states that the existing two-story, 9,376-square-foot building will be replaced with a two-story, 20,500-square-foot facility.
    The new building is set to be placed in the same location as the old building at the rear portion of the existing campus near Trail Creek and below a bluff leading up to the Horseman’s Center. The project area consists of a 6.37-acre site of Public Institution-zoned property.

This project will be a transformative project for our entire school community.”
David Holmes
Community School headmaster

    The proposed building height is 34 feet, 6 inches—just under the 35 feet allowed in the zone.
    Construction of the first phase is scheduled to begin this summer. Community School Director of Communications Kate Wutz said the project is estimated to cost $7.5 million.
    According to the application, the project is phase one of the Community School master plan, simultaneously submitted for review by the city to meet the short- and long-term needs of the school.
Phase one consists of demolition and rebuilding of the Dumke Middle School building, a remodel of existing Engl Hall, a new 1,400-square-foot teaching greenhouse, accessory storage structures and temporary classroom structures to be used for the duration of construction and then removed from the site. It will also house the creative arts program.
     The current creative arts facility is to be repurposed for elementary and high school classrooms.
“This project will be a transformative project for our entire school community,” Headmaster David Holmes said. “It will benefit each student in our elementary school, middle school and upper school. Though we are still in the planning stages, we are excited for what a project like this one could mean for Community School and our ability to accommodate our school’s current students and future growth.”
      Future phases of the plan include a new dining and gathering hall, replacement of the elementary school classroom space and parking.
    Sun Valley Community Development Director Mark Hoffman stated in an agenda report that the proposed design is in conformance with the purpose and all dimensional regulations of the Public Institution zoning district. He also said the proposed design does not significantly impact the natural, scenic character and aesthetic value of surrounding hills, a standard contained in the city’s comprehensive plan.

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