Architects are narrowing down some of the details for the Knox Community School Corporation’s upcoming $20 million building project. Ron Fisher and Duane Dart with Schmidt Associates presented updated plans to the school board last week.
Plans call for the demolition of the elementary school’s Palmer Wing, while the high school and the remaining portion of the elementary school would be expanded toward each other, closing off Redskin Trail in the process. Fisher said that will result in a safer traffic pattern that will keep bus traffic on the west end of the campus, while cars will stay to the east.
As part of that effort, a new bus staging area will be installed west of the elementary school, with a new driveway connecting it to Culver Road near the WKVI studio. The elementary school’s horseshoe drive will no longer access Culver Road. Instead, visitors will get to the main office from a new driveway extending west from Main Street, which will include visitor parking and a drop-off area for the pre-K and special needs programs.
The Palmer Wing will be replaced by a new playground and staff parking lot that will contain a queuing area for parents waiting to pick up students. Dart said the new south wing of the elementary school will house third and fourth grades, with room for five sections of each grade level plus flex space. The addition will also contain a large cafeteria with seating for 650 to 700 students. Dart explained that the current cafeteria will remain in use as part of a more efficient serving line.
At Knox Middle School, a new bus staging area will be added behind the building, off of Bower Street. The main office will be moved to the north end of the building, where a new secured entrance will be installed. All students will enter through that door, with separate car and bus drop-off areas nearby. The middle school will also be the new home of the Redskin Academy, which will go where the welding classroom currently is.
The school corporation’s central office will move into the middle school, as well. It will have its own new secure entrance off of Main Street, near the location of the school’s current main office. A small visitor parking lot will be installed there, which will also provide ADA parking for events at the Weinberg Gym. Plans also call for an improved crosswalk across Culver Road. School officials plan to ask the city for permission to install a “speed table” to help slow traffic.
At Knox High School, a new multi-purpose room will be added north of the current cafeteria. A new culinary arts lab will be added, as well. A secure entrance will be installed on the south side of the building, and the guidance office will be consolidated into the main office. The school’s weight room will be moved into the building, where some classrooms are currently located. Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart noted that will help with security, since students will no longer have to go to the football field during the school day. It should also free up space for an expanded football locker room.
Tomorrow, Schmidt Associates will hold design meetings at each building and then provide an update to all of the school corporation’s teachers after school.