Community Message February 2020

Community Message February 2020
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February 2020
8,000. That’s how many students we’re expecting in our schools in the 2020–2021 school year. This will take our elementary and middle school capacity to 112%. These numbers are not a surprise. Our long-range planning committee has been tracking housing permits and enrollment trends for 14 years and helping us plan for fiscally responsible expansion. The standard in education is to build when capacity at any one level reaches 115%.

The committee is recommending two new elementary schools, the expansion of Severance Middle School (SMS), and the renovation and expansion of Windsor Middle School (WMS). Today, I’d like to talk more specifically about what a November 2020 bond may include.
Elementary School Projects
To maximize savings, our two new elementary schools would have the same footprint and utilize similar building materials. Both buildings would be approximately 77,000 square feet, have the capacity to serve 600 students, and would open in 2022–2023. Our board of education will be discussing possible sites for the new schools this spring.

In addition to the investment in new schools, we are planning improvements to each existing elementary school. We are evaluating our schools’ needs and will be sharing more information on potential projects this spring.
Middle School Projects
When SMS was built in 2009, we knew that it would eventually need another wing to bring its capacity to 900 students. The plans for the 43,000-square-foot addition are ready to go. 

WMS, on the other hand, requires a major overhaul. The 1927 building was closed due to safety concerns in 2012; it must come down. We will reconfigure the building and bring classrooms together in learning communities, create a makerspace area, construct a main gym (turning the current gym into an auxiliary gym), expand the cafetorium so it is better suited for performances, and construct a new suite for special education services. Outside, a refreshed WMS campus will include an outdoor classroom, updated outdoor athletic and physical education fields, and a new traffic pattern for student pick-up, drop-off, and bus riders.

Our architects are currently working on potential renderings for the WMS project, and we look forward to sharing them with you this spring.
Additional Projects
As part of the WMS renovation project, we will relocate our transportation center, which currently shares a parking lot with WMS. Moving it is the only way we can expand the school and relieve some of the congestion on Main Street.

Additionally, a bond will include funds for Windsor Charter Academy, which the school will use to expand programming space.
You probably want to know what all of this will cost. We are currently working with our construction experts on cost estimates. This will undoubtedly be a bigger ask than our previous bond, given the magnitude of the projects needed to address our urgent capacity crunch.

We do not take the generosity of our community or its expectation of excellent educational opportunities for students for granted. In the months ahead, we will share our facilities plans with you. We will engage in discussions about the future of our school buildings and our vision for further expanding their use beyond the school day for the benefit of our entire community. Stay tuned...
Dan Seegmiller                          
Superintendent, Weld RE-4 School District