Board Approves McKenney-Harrison Plan

posted May 21, 2014, 5:12 AM by webmaster district   [ updated May 22, 2014, 5:23 AM ]

WATERLOO — The DeKalb Central school board Tuesday approved a schematic plan for the McKenney-Harrison school renovation that will tear down the 1930s-era Harrison building and much of the 1950s McKenney building and construct a new facility.

The plan is the most recent to be considered by the school board and was presented publicly at the April school board meeting. It carries a price tag of $16.48 million.

The school’s gymnasium, media center, stage, music room, art room, pre-kindergarten class and multi-purpose room will remain and be renovated. The remainder of the school will be new construction, including a closed loop of classrooms for kindergarten through fifth grade, the office, cafeteria and kitchen. All classrooms will be 900 square feet.

A two-story wing will face Indiana Avenue, housing the office, classrooms for grades 2-5. The school’s front door also will face Indiana Avenue.

Tuesday’s acceptance of a plan is the culmination of a process that began last spring. The school district hosted community meetings where members of the public were invited to share their ideas for the direction of the building and renovation project. Taking that input, architects Barton-Coe-Vilamaa conducted a feasibility study and came up with several design options.

Before considering the plan approved Tuesday, the board had narrowed its options to two earlier plans. One would have saved the newer, existing McKenney structure and carried a price tag of $16.8 million.

Another plan considered by the board involved saving the Harrison building, as well as using new construction to create a closed loop of classrooms on the McKenney site, while removing much of the 1950s portion of the McKenney building. That option had an estimated price of $20.5 million.

The board also had considered a design that would have saved the facade of the 1930s-era Harrison building.

With the schematic plan approved, architects and a building committee will continue to meet as specific design elements are developed.

The board anticipates advertising for construction bids on the project in November, with construction targeted to begin in spring 2015, said school district Superintendent Sherry Grate.

Article from The Star - Written by KATHRYN BASSETT