RPS School Board approves expansion of Hoover Elementary School - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

RPS School Board approves expansion of Hoover Elementary School for early childhood center

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Tuesday night's Rochester Public Schools School Board meeting discussed, and approved, an expansion at one elementary school in the district.

Hoover Elementary School will soon have a 35,000 square foot addition for those children in Early Childhood education programs.

First of all, here's a little bit of background on what has led up to this expansion of Hoover Elementary School, dating back over five years ago.

Back on March 27th of 2012, results of a District-wide Future Facility Task Force process recommended that the district should consolidate early childhood programming into an existing District elementary.

On April 12th of last year, the board approved re-purposing Burr Oak School into an education setting, to be used for early childhood (or pre-kindergarten) programming.

After renovations in 2016 and even some work done this year, the building re-opened as Mighty Oaks Early Learning School on January 30th, 2017, with the whole building dedicated to pre-kindergarten education.

As of now, the District has 17 classrooms of pre-kindergarten education remaining in other District Buildings, beyond Mighty Oaks Early Learning School.

Consolidating these remaining classrooms into a second facility dedicated to pre-kindergarten is a priority for the District, in order to maximize the number of rooms available at elementary schools for kindergarten through fifth grade.

On February 21st, 2017, the School Board approved a purchase agreement for a 40,500 square-foot building on Pennington Drive NW, formerly known as the Minnesota School of Business.

The District hired CRW Architects to conduct an assessment of the property to determine the viability of converting the property to an Early Childhood Center.

After review, CRW Architects reported that the facility had many deficiencies, and costs to remedy the deficiencies are beyond the District's ability to address.

This, in turn, led to the Board approving a Notice of Termination of Purchase Agreement for the Minnesota School of Business Property on April 12th of 2017.

Next up: CRW Architects was hired again by the District to conduct a feasibility study to build an Early Childhood addition on to Hoover Elementary at 269 Elton Hills Drive NW.

On April 18th of 2017, CRW provided findings that confirmed an addition of up to 44,000 square feet to Hoover Elementary would be allowable.

Several concept plans were provided to CRW Architects to obtain an estimated cost of construction from Krause Anderson, who estimated the cost per square foot ranged from $210 to $213, depending on the size of the addition.

The projected allowable budget for the project is set at about $8.1 million, comparable to the budget set for the purchase and renovation of Minnesota School of Business.

Construction Services was able to come up with two 35,000 square-foot addition concept plans to add to Hoover Elementary.

It's just a matter of deciding which is a better fit.

Hoover is scheduled for an Indoor Air Quality project in fiscal years 2019 and 2020, and if the Early Childhood addition is approved, the IAQ project will be moved to 2018 to coincide with the Early Childhood construction.

The construction for the Early Childhood addition at Hoover Elementary is hoped to be started by September of 2017 and completed by August of 2018.

Financing of this Early Childhood addition at Hoover would be through lease-levy authority.

Also discussed at the meeting on Tuesday was a request from the American Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee.

The committee requested three different items in letter form, and the board of directors' initial response to all requests was to deny them.

However, after a deep discussion on various aspects of the requests and what not, it has been decided to table the issue until the next meeting on May 16th.

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