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Concept Design Details Take Shape in MTA High School Project

posted Jul 21, 2016, 5:56 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Jul 21, 2016, 12:18 PM ]
There is an important forum on August 3, 2016, at the MTA Commons at 6:30 pm. The forum is an opportunity to share your thoughts with the Building Committee about the concept design and unfunded project costs suggestions.Click here for a list of the unfunded project cost suggestions. Major areas identified as “potential unfunded costs” include athletics, academic classrooms, and a high-performance building.  All costs are preliminary and not final.  None of the numbers of the building project features have been approved. At present, the list is simply a collection of all the “ask for” items.
On July 27 at 5:30 pm in Room 201 at Mt. Ararat High School, prior to the August 3rd Forum, the Building Committee will meet to consider priorities for the unfunded portions of the project.  The Building Committee will determine which costs are best suited for fundraising and which costs may be submitted to local voters for possible funding through taxes. Please attend the August 3rd Forum to express your opinion.  Your feedback is requested as these decisions on what to present to voters  will need to be made prior to the referendum.

The Athletics and PE subcommittee stressed that all costs associated with their suggestions are planned for fundraising with the exception of the additional gym space. Costs around the “high-performance building” concept will be offset to some extent by savings resulting from the longer building life.  The Building Committee’s June 28, 2016, meeting highlighted the importance of understanding what the impact is will be to the community for any items considered to be a local cost for taxpayers.

Questions by the public during the June 28, 2016, Building Committee meeting included (1) How many parking spaces will be needed for students and for large community events? How many parking spaces are paid for by the state? (2) What will be the impact on athletics, in particular track and field, when the high school project begins,? As  well as questions surrounding transportation to potential off-site venues for athletic practices and matches? and (3) questions about the shared classroom model. Members of the MTA Staff have expressed a strong desire for classroom space for each teacher.  

Comments from members of the Building Committee and the administration indicate that MSAD #75 is committed to continuing to provide late bus services regardless of the venues for athletic practices.  Administration appreciates the questions brought by the community and is actively seeking information to answer those questions.  Sub-Committees of the Building Committee will also be working on the details to answers to these questions and more.

Of great interest at the Building Committee meeting was concept designs 10.1 and 10.2 where details of the building are described.  Conversation surrounded shared classrooms, the location of science classrooms in close proximity to one another, the location of art classrooms with access to the outside, with lighting consideration, and with the ability to work collaboratively while also being able to separate and maintain instructional focus. A copy of design 10.2 is available for download and can be viewed at the bottom of this post.

Consideration around the location of the learning commons and the forum were topics of conversation.  It was suggested the forum be located near classrooms rather than near the gym. Centrally locating public spaces (such as the gym, dining commons, and the forum) is a priority.  Locating the learning commons central to instructional spaces and classrooms, as well as to the pond is seen as important. Locating guidance near the nursing services is a priority.

PDT Architects met with teachers this spring but are still in need of gathering feedback from support staff including custodial, kitchen, and transportation staff as the concept design takes shape.

Ryan Palmer,
Jul 21, 2016, 12:04 PM