In 2015, SDS was contracted to perform revised facility studies for both the existing High School and existing Middle School. Following the construction of a new Elementary School in 2013 (also designed by SDS) and a resulting, yet unexpected, growth in primary enrollment, an addition to the existing Middle School was determined to be the next priority for the school district.
As on previous occasions, SDS teamed with the School District of Bloomer to develop a creative and cost-effective solution. By also assisting to effectively communicate to the community the needs of the district, we helped the district to pass another referendum – this time to meet their growing Middle School needs.
Originally designed to accommodate only 6th, 7th and 8th grades, over time the Middle School had been forced to adapt to serving grades 5 through 8. The solution to this over-crowded situation was to design and construct a new addition to create three new general education classrooms, an elective classroom and one new science room for the 6th grade. The new addition also includes generous storage areas as well as a new Tech. Ed. classroom and a flexible computer lab / meeting room - both for use by the entire school.
A major design consideration for this addition was that the best location for the new addition would “close off” the exterior windows for a significant number of existing classrooms. To remedy this situation, a corridor was created between the existing classrooms and the addition, abundant natural light was brought in through “Solar Tube” skylights, and a mural depicting a stylized country landscape of blue sky and rolling hills was painted on the wall opposite the existing windows. This allows for the continued presence of natural light flowing into the adjacent classrooms, and has produced a much less institutional feel than otherwise would have resulted.
The existing building’s classroom wings had carpeting installed down the corridors. An alternate bid was accepted to not only install epoxy terrazzo in the new addition’s corridors, but also to replace the carpeting in the existing classroom wing corridors with terrazzo. In addition to the new flooring, updated paint colors for walls and lockers in the existing corridors help give a rejuvenated freshness to the entire school.
There were also two small additions at other locations around the school. One was placed off the school’s band and choir rooms to create a shared ensemble practice room. By relocating (and adding) some of the instrument storage from the band room to this ensemble room, the result was also a net increase in the size of the existing band room. Another small addition was placed off the school’s gymnasium to free up space for a small weight room and to create additional Phy. Ed. storage as well as storage space for the district’s existing outdoor track equipment.
The existing kitchen space was reconfigured to allow for two serving lines to be in use at the same time. In other remodeling, time out and sensory rooms were created in conjunction with the special education classrooms. and an existing accessible toilet room was expanded to provide adequate changing facilities.
Construction of the 13,000 addition (and remodeling) began in the fall of 2016 and was completed for the 2017-2018 academic year.