San Antonio school building may see changes soon

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At the school board meeting Monday night, board members looked at San Antonio School’s process of remodeling.

Think Smart Coordinator Molly Smith presented some new phases for classroom settings to be included with the remodeled building.

The Public Schools Facilities Authority rated the school about a year ago, said Head Teacher John Ray Dennis. Since San Antonio ranked so low for their facility, PSCFA hired Smith to work with faculty, staff, parents and community members with what they would like to see happen at the school.

“We spend a lot of time about what is going to be taught, what will happen in the future,” Smith said.

At the end of last year, faculty, staff, parents and community members had four meetings with Think Smart where they played with color blocks. The blocks represented a vision of what the new school would look like, Dennis said. Sixty percent of the blocks represented classrooms, and the other colors were for restrooms, a cafeteria and other needed facilities in the school.

“This plan will affect all grades with a better learning environment,” Smith said. “The teachers will have all the tools they need.”

The planning committee for the new architecture of the school has 25 people, including parents and other community members, she said. The first of four major goals for San Antonio School is flexibility — providing a learning environment to students by level. The second goal is collaboration among the five teachers who work with each other for support. The third goal is to have a community connection which includes how the community will use the building. The fourth goal is to establish how the land will be used to support the redesign of the school for 101 students, Smith said.

The space capacity for the new building would be 18,140 square feet. “Architects will be able to look at the colored blocks to see what the new school would potentially look like and start building,” she said. “There will be more core classrooms and instructional space.”

The new building will expand to the west with a media center and classrooms, food service and distribution.

According to Dennis, the existing building is 84 years old and faces electrical problems, small classrooms, door blockage to the hallways and classrooms and stairs that aren’t handicapped accessible.

Dennis said the plans will take a year to 18 months to be completed pending approval of the school board.

The next steps are for the school board to decide if it will proceed with the re-design plan for the school, meet with a contractor, then start a new building, Dennis said.

“The building is like home,” Dennis said. “We have awesome kids and teachers. Every kid needs to be in the best facility.”