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A-D-M continues talks on facility needs

The Adel-DeSoto-Minburn School Board is continuing their quest to accommodate for current and future growth by holding discussions on repurposing and expanding current facilities.

Frk architects + engineers began working with the district the summer of 2012 on a facilities master planning project to address district improvements and possible expansion.

“We are trying to establish what is important to the district,” Tom Wollan, project designer with frk architects + engineers, said. “What we are looking at is immediate capacity needs at the Elementary and DeSoto Schools.”

The facilities plan proposes to add six classrooms at the elementary level, bringing the building capacity to 510 students. Four of those rooms would be designated for Kindergarten use and the remaining two for Pre-Kindergarten. A Preschool program would be included the existing space. The facility would also improve security and relocate the bus barn.

At DeSoto Intermediate, eight classrooms would be added bringing the student capacity to 482 students. The music, art and cafeteria would be renovated and security would be improved.

An estimated completion date for the Elementary School is the summer of 2015 at an estimated cost of $3,570,000 and DeSoto the summer of 2016 at around $4,911,000.

The A-D-M High School would also be reconfigured by swapping the high school portion and middle school, moving the high school district office to the decommissioned 6-7 building (the former middle school), adding additional classrooms and improving security.

Also in the proposed plan is relocating the bus barn from the Elementary School to the Nile Kinnick campus.

Wollan said consecutive construction on both the Elementary and DeSoto buildings is “doable”; however, Travis Squires with Piper Jaffray said it could push the district’s available funds to the limit.

“Both projects including renovation could be close to $8.6 million,” he said. “Plus it comes down to timing and when you would go to the voters for a bond issue.”

Board President Tim Canney expressed he would like to complete both sites at once to get the ball rolling.

“If we could vote in February and the bond vote pass then we could really get the ball rolling,” he said.

Board member Kelli Book said she would rather see building renovation rather than relocation of the bus barn.

“The Adel site has been horrible for many years, but when you run out of space that’s something else to deal with,” she said. “I’d rather have my kids in a classroom rather than be more convenient for me to pick them up.”

She also added the board needs to have a clear plan before presenting a bond vote to the voters.

The board will continue to look into the facilities plan and bring the item back next month.

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