WLS interviews architects to design elementary school remodel projects

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 10:00 PM EST
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"It's just the beginning."

That's the word from the superintendent of Washington Local Schools. A special meeting Monday night allowed the community to see what the district could look like in the future.

Washington Local is one step closer to its district-wide makeover. Back in November, Issue 7 passed. Voters heard superintendent Dr. Kadee Anstadt's financial mantra over and over.

"Eighty percent from the state, 20 percent from our brave and courageous local taxpayers. So, that 20 percent equates to about 50 million dollars, and these two projects will come to about 44 million dollars roughly," said Dr. Anstadt.

Now, it's time to get to work. First up is choosing an architect.

"Very exciting. So, tonight is the night that we begin the whole process all over again," said Dr. Anstadt.

Three architectural firms presented plans Monday. SSOE, SHP, and The Collaborative shared their vision with the school board, community members, parents and students.

"Tonight is more like the dating period, like who is it that we're interested to go forward with and maybe get engaged," said Dr. Anstadt.

While exact design plans are up in the air, we do know the first construction phase includes building two new elementary schools. There will be a tear down and rebuild of Shoreland Elementary, and Wernert and Jackman will combine into one in a new building at Jackman Elementary's current site.

About 700 students in grades K-5 will attend each new school.

"I can't wait for kids around me because I still live in the Shoreland area ... kids around me just to be able to experience that and get a good education," said Maria Smith, a junior at Whitmer High School.

Smith is part of the engineering program and her class is working on their own vision.

"Just really excited for it to happen and I can't wait. Even if our design isn't used, I'm just excited to see it in my neighborhood in the next few years," said Smith.

No decision was made Monday. Now, the board will spend the next couple of days thinking it all over. Then Wednesday at the regular board meeting, an architect will be chosen to re-design Washington Local Schools.

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