Friday, July 25, 2014

Middle School razed at Community School

Construction on new facility set to be completed in May 2015

Express Staff Writer

This photo of the Community School campus has been modified with an artistís rendering to show how the new Creative Arts and Middle School Building, at center, will blend in with the existing buildings. Photo by courtesy photo

    Demolition of the Dumke Middle School building at the Community School in Sun Valley is now finished and construction will start soon on its replacement, the new Creative Arts and Middle School Building.
    Head of School David Holmes in an update this week described the new building as a “crucial step in shaping a successful future for our school.”
    Holmes further stated that the need of the new building is attributable to Community School’s student population, which has continued to grow over the past five years. The school had an enrollment of 289 in 2009, 294 in 2010, 327 in 2011, 369 in 2012 and 379 in 2013.
    “As a result of increased enrollment, all three Community School divisions now require more classroom space,” Holmes stated. “Our buildings were designed for a total enrollment of approximately 300 students. Current enrollment is 380, with modest increases expected over the next couple of years.

Our buildings were designed for a total enrollment of approximately 300 students. Current enrollment is 380, with modest increases expected over the next couple of years.”
David Holmes
Head of school

    “In particular, our upper school building was designed for 120 students, against a current enrollment of 153.”
    Construction of the new Creative Arts and Middle School Building is part of the Community School’s overall plan to cope with increased enrollment. In addition to the new building, which will provide 20,500 square feet for educational and administrative purposes, the Community School also plans to remodel the school’s Engl Hall to provide more classroom space. The first floor will be repurposed for the elementary school and the second floor for the upper school.
    Holmes wrote in his update that the total cost for both projects is $8.5 million, which he expects to be raised through donations.
    “The fundraising for the new building is going very successfully,” Holmes stated. “Over the past several months in the ‘quiet phase’ of our campaign, we raised in excess of $6 million in gifts and pledges from members of our board and other friends of the school. Because of this early success in eliciting enthusiasm and support, we were comfortable in proceeding with the project.”
    Construction of the new building is planned for completion in May 2015.    
    “The new building will not only provide classroom space for our middle school, but it will also include music and arts classrooms, a sizable lunchroom and teaching kitchen, a maker’s lab to accommodate a wide variety of project-based and hands on learning and a multi-media lab to support our burgeoning video production and music recording classes,” Holmes stated.
    “These spaces will be used and enjoyed by students in all three divisions, each and every day. The entire building will be sustainably constructed with recycled materials, natural light and energy-efficient measures.”

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