Update from June 2018

Dear Discovery Families:

You have likely seen trailers set up on the north end lawn these last few weeks.  This is because Discovery is scheduled to begin a remodel this summer, and the trailers will be temporary office spaces during this process.  Though the remodel process impacts the school and how we get around next year, we believe the future benefits far outweigh the temporary inconveniences.  The main benefits include the following: 

Improved Security

The office will be moved to the front of the building.  The new entrance will require all visitors to enter the main office before having access to school hallways and classrooms.  A key card system will be installed that enables all outside doors to remain locked throughout the day.   A new fire alarm system, new sound system, and new HVAC system are also scheduled to be installed.

More Space

A wing of six new classrooms will be added.  This wing will also include an Activity Room, a second staff work room, and much needed, additional office space.  The multipurpose room and stage will be enlarged, as will the conference room and staff room.

Decorative Updates

Though space for the playground will decrease (which we can accommodate as we currently have a very large playground), new, updated playground equipment will be added.  New carpet and flooring will also be installed.

Understandably, this project raises questions. The following questions and answers, are those I anticipate to be of most relevance for families.  At this time, these are the most complete answers I can provide.

When is the remodel scheduled to begin, and how long will it last?

  • The plan for the remodel is scheduled to begin this summer and continue throughout the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school year. Most of the impacts are scheduled to occur next year.  The plan is that all major construction is completed by the 2019-20 school year.

What work is scheduled during the first year?

  • During the first year, the front office and the ECE rooms will swap locations, so the office will be relocated to the front of the building. A locked entryway will be added so that no one will have access to the school without first coming into the office.  
  • A new wing of six classrooms will be added to the back of the school, where the purple toy and playground equipment currently are located.
  • New door locks and alarm systems will be installed.
  • The multipurpose room and stage will be enlarged to accommodate student growth.

What work is scheduled during the second year?

  • New carpet and flooring will be installed throughout the school.
  • A new intercom and HVAC system will be installed.
  • New playground equipment will be installed.

How will the remodel process affect the safety of children?

  • The staging area for the construction site will be behind the multipurpose room. All construction areas will be fenced off so that no students can get into these areas.  There will be gates placed at strategic locations that will be used when large trucks and equipment need to come through the back area.  A “spotter” will continuously be on site who will monitor the trucks and construction work to ensure safety.
  • The administration offices, health room, and other offices will be located in trailers at the front of the building.

If the playground equipment is not available, what will our children do during recess?

  • The covered basketball area and the field will be available during recesses. We are currently working with the YMCA to provide structured play activities for two days a week.  During the other days, the dean, paraprofessionals, and the PE teacher will provide games and equipment in which students may participate. 

What will happen if my child is in a portable next year?  

  • Two third, two fourth, and all fifth grade classes will be in portables next year. To ensure safety, a fenced walkway will be provided for students to enter and exit the building.  

What about arrivals and dismissals, traffic, and parking?

  • The parking lot will continue to have the same entrance, where cars enter and exit. However, the traffic loop will be smaller since the parking lot by Eagle Club will be fenced off.  This will require much cooperation and patience for everyone involved.  We are enlisting extra help through PTSA to direct traffic. 
  • Busses will enter and exit in the same location as they do currently. You will likely notice some slight readjustments for construction trucks and equipment.

Where will Eagle Club be housed?

  • Due to loss of space during the remodel, Eagle Club will be housed in a trailer at the front of the school. Eagle Club activities will be held in classrooms, the gym, the library, and the multipurpose room.

What will happen to our evening concerts, PTSA events, and private vendor classes?

  • Music concerts will be held during the day except for 5th Fifth graders will have an evening music concert next year.  Details on plans for the other grades will be provided next fall.
  • There will be fewer PTSA events and clubs next year due to the construction. We are planning to hold the Multi-Cultural Fair, STEM Night, and Math clubs.  Other events and clubs are still to be determined.
  • No enrichment classes, or private vendor classes, will be held before or after school next year.

How can parents support Discovery during the remodel process?  

  • If possible, have your child ride the bus. This will lessen the backup of cars during arrival and dismissal.
  • If your child does not ride the bus, please carpool to alleviate long lines of traffic.
  • Plan for extra time during arrival and dismissal.
  • Plan for a longer walking distance to get to locations within the building, as some current doorways may not be accessible.
  • Understand that there will be unexpected disruptions during the school day.
  • Practice patience during the remodel period.

I recognize this is a lot to take in and I appreciate your attention to this information. As it is important that we know all our families understand this upcoming project, I am asking you to complete the form attached and return it to your child’s teacher.  This will help us know that all our students’ families are prepared for the upcoming remodel period.  To provide incentive for returning this form, I am rewarding a doughnut party to the first class at each grade level that returns all forms.

Kindly,

Marti Shefveland