The School District has quite a few construction projects going on, thanks to our community’s investment. Our District’s facilities will be set up for the future, and for that we are truly thankful that the people of Princeton value education and their students!
Princeton Primary School
Over the summer, the school took shape. The walls and the roof are placed, and you can now visualize classroom, office, gymnasium and cafeteria spaces. Teachers and staff who will be in that school next year took a tour a couple of weeks ago, and there were many “ooos and ahs” as they ventured through the construction site.
Behind Princeton Primary and the future Princeton Intermediate Schools, there will be four soccer fields. The fields have been graded and the sprinkler system has gone in. Seeding is happening this month, with a projected date for being ready in one year. These fields will be mainly for Middle School activities programming, as well as Community Education teams. It will be terrific to have all of the youth fields together in one area. Perhaps you do not know, but soccer is an up and coming activity with some of our largest numbers of participants, compared to other fall sports.
Youth Baseball Fields
A pinwheel of youth baseball fields are being designed to be put on the current Middle School property. This is just in the beginning of design, due to the change in location. These fields are being planned to be close to the garage/shed that district Buildings and Grounds uses.
Parking Lots and Bus Loop
Since we will have many more people working at two schools (Primary School and Intermediate School) versus one school (North Elementary), we needed additional parking spaces for staff and parents. The parking lot has been torn up, graded and gravel has been put into the future paved lot. There will be asphalt laid in the near future.
The bus loop will be behind the two schools, and since we needed a way to get machinery and materials into the construction site, the bus loop was paved to facilitate that need. The bus loop will get additional asphalt next year, at the end of the construction, as well. Our District’s transfer site will be moving from the Middle School to this new site.
High School Gymnasiums
The footings are being set for the new gymnasium, and as a result, you will notice that there is a different temporary way to get to the football field for games. People are being directed around the South portables, to the football field. The plan is to raise walls for the new gyms during a vacation break for students during this school year. In addition to the gymnasiums there will be restrooms and the Activities Director office, close to the gyms.
High School Entryway and Lunchroom Area
The High School entryway is being designed to be a more secure entrance. There will be an office next to the front entrance, to check in visitors. Music areas are being altered in order to get more space for the lunchroom “flow” to work better. The school store will be updated as well. All of this work is planned for next summer, and ready for the fall of 2016.
Technical Education Space at the High School
The Agriculture Laboratory and the Industrial Tech Laboratory will be attached to the high school, and a new clean laboratory will be added to facilitate this. There will be an additional small classroom as well. Perhaps you do not know this, but our Career and Technical Education Department is as big as our English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies Departments. We are very proud to have so many hands-on application courses for our students. Having everything connected will improve communication, connectivity and access, not to mention a more secure campus.
Early Childhood Facility Transformation
Due to the successful attainment of a state grant, our current District Office/Early Childhood and ECFE space is transforming into a Family Center. There will be additional classrooms for classes for our wee ones. We are needing more space for our classes. Offices to support early education will be re-organized to support our students’ programming. As this was being designed, we came to realize that there was not enough room in the current facility to house the District Offices.
Onward Program and Adult Basic Education Programs
The Special Education Program for Transition of young adults ages 18 to 21 is currently housed in a portable space behind the high school. Part of the referendum dollars are paying for this and Adult Basic Education Program to move to the old Police Station. Renovation will be taking place this spring and summer, for use beginning in the fall of 2016.
District Offices Co-Located with the City of Princeton
Since there wasn’t room for the District Offices in the current location, there was a search for other space. During a meeting with the City and the District, both entities discussed how possibly the City could rent space to the District in the City location. After some discussion about how that might work, design work began. There are many efficiencies by sharing office space, such as common areas of conference room, break room, Board Room/Council Chambers and storage.
The intent is that District Office will have their entrance under the canopy where the current Community Education offices now reside. There will be public parking across the street from there. Co-located offices will be moved into the current back of the City Hall. Renovation is planned to begin in January, with occupancy next spring.
South Elementary Goodbye
As you may recall, South Elementary had so many facility issues, that it would have cost $9M to upgrade for future occupancy. As a result, the plan is to raze the building next summer. In June, there will be a chance for staff to completely move out. We will have a district sale of old equipment and furniture. Our police department will be holding some drills in the building.
We are planning to have a Goodbye program for South, and at the end of the program, we will all go to the new Princeton Primary for a tour. Watch for the details!
A Big Thank You
Our students and families are the big recipients of beautiful facilities for the future. Our community will benefit as well, as everyone is encouraged to use the space, which is coordinated through Community Education. Thank you so much, Community of Princeton, for the investment that you have made in the future.
Julia A. Espe, Superintendent of Princeton Public Schools