FAQS

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ABOUT CONSTRUCTION

What are we building?

The campaign includes:

  • Construction of a new K-8 schoolhouse, gym and a music and science learning center
  • Re-envisioning of the original school building as an outdoor Central Area and tower
  • Redesign of a pedestrian-friendly campus separating cars from people
  • Green spaces (playing fields, outdoor classrooms, sledding hill and commons)
  • Campus sustainability and energy efficiency upgrades
  • Necessary site work including improved septic, water, and technology systems
  • Four employee housing unites
  • Compass administration building remodel

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What will happen to the original school and the tower?

In addition to getting a new, state of the art facility, we are also paying tribute to our history. In order to make way for this, the original building will come down as part of Phase II construction.

The tower will be rebuilt, on its same footprint, as a structural and iconic element of the campus. If the original logs are viable, the tower will be re-clad with them. For the first time in a long time, the tower will be accessible via a spiral staircase that leads up to a covered viewing platform, ensuring vistas and egg drops for years to come.

The existing Central Area will also remain in its current footprint, and it will become an outside amphitheatre covered with fabric shade sails. The result will be a stunning, multi-purpose outdoor space:  classroom, performance space and gathering spot. Lastly, the outline of the existing school will remain, featured in the landscape as garden walls and carrying through to the inside of the new music building floor as a decorative line where the footprints overlap.

During deconstruction, we will recycle as much of the original structures as we can to minimize waste across the site.

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Why has the campaign/construction budget gone up by $1.5M?

The original master plan was expedited in 2009/10 to meet the BEST Grant deadline and at the time we weren’t able to adequately contemplate the educational uses that exist today — as our verification process in 2014 revealed. There was also a gap between the budget assumptions of that time and construction realities today. For example, square footages for the school increased as we sought to accommodate an additional 5-8 classroom (one more than we had in 2010) and an art classroom in the main building (current best practices). These two spaces added approximately 2,000 sf, and the attendant costs, to our design.

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Can’t you just leave the old school up?

In order to keep that building, no matter the use, we have to bring it up to code, and, at a conservative estimate of $8 million, we know we can’t afford to do that. Letting it stand empty is not an option; mothballing a building comes with huge maintenance and insurance costs that would not be responsible fiscal choices.

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Why are you tearing down the straw bale art building?

Let’s be frank: we have been limping along with an art building that is in a state of disrepair. The structure is not in physical condition that’s suitable to house an educational space any longer. That said, we’re still considering the use of that building for a future greenhouse conversion, storage, or other non-classroom space. It remains to be seen what the final outcome will be.

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What is the target construction schedule? When will building begin?

We officially broke ground in July 2014, following a groundbreaking ceremony on June 3. Phase I construction has progressed over the summer and the new gym is planned for opening in May 2015, with the K-8 schoolhouse on schedule to be complete by June 2015. Phase II construction, including the Music and Science learning center and Outdoor Central Area is dependent upon the successful realization of Phase II fundraising.

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Is there a phased plan or do we build this all at once?

Yes, there is a phased plan:

Preparation: Spring 2013-Spring 2014: Central septic and intersection improvements at base of drive; bid out for a project manager; bid out for architect; host community design meetings; bid out for general contractor; develop construction drawings and engineering.

Phase 1: Spring 2014-Fall 2015: Deconstruct the gym, which clears the site for the new school building; break ground on main building while ACS continues in the original building.

Phase 2: Summer 2015: New gym and schoolhouse open; work begins on renovation of original building.

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Where will school take place when construction is happening?

Classes will be held in the original building while construction is happening on the new schoolhouse. Once the school is complete (scheduled for June 2015), classes will occur there, while the original building is then renovated. There will be no need to relocate classes off-site or in temporary buildings to accommodate construction, with the exception of one modular which will house the educational spaces that were previously held in the gym.

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Are you building this as a LEED-certified project?

Yes. Not only are we are targeting LEED Gold Certification, and we are also taking the “2030 Carbon Neutral Challenge.”

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