As many of you have seen, we have some holes and piles of shale and soil on our hill. No, we do not have groundhogs or prairie dogs! These are test holes to determine how rocky it is beneath the surface so we can determine what type of excavation would be needed for the foundation of our new addition.
As you know, we are planning an expansion that will enhance our learning environment for our students. We held two building meetings to discuss the project but not everyone was able to attend. Here are some questions and answers that will help you understand more about what we are doing.
When will this happen?
We intend to begin when school ends and finish by January.
Who is the contractor and architect?
Wainschaf is the contractor and Michael Bellows (original architect) is the architect.
How did the building project develop?
During our last strategic planning process, we invited all community members to engage and brainstorm in what our strengths and weaknesses are as a school, what improvements could easily be made, and what other initiatives could be considered. The board of trustees held a retreat and further examined the school, including space, programming, and potential growth, and developed a new strategic plan. Part of the strategic plan included more space. Through work with the builder and the architect, as well as meetings with teachers, parents and the new building committee, we have a plan that we think will be a wonderful enhancement to Woodland Hill.
How are we paying for this?
Funding for the building project is part of a larger capital campaign that also includes a scholarship fund and an additional fund to purchase surrounding land. We plan to fund the short term payment of the project by borrowing money from our investments until we secure fundraising dollars. We will be reaching out to everyone in our community to help us with this capital campaign.
Will the building noise interrupt school or present a safety hazard?
Dave Canfield, the Project Manager, is working closely with school staff and contractors to have as little interruption as possible. The work over the summer will be planned so the noisiest machinery and work will happen then. The work crews will be as unobtrusive as possible, working on weekends if there is noisier work to be done. Wainschaf assured us that safety will be the number one consideration.
Will the children have a chance to participate?
I gave the students in Upper El and Middle School a presentation on the building and they asked a lot of questions and gave helpful feedback. During the project, students will have the chance to meet with the Project Manager and Architect as well as see first-hand the building process as it unfolds.
You will be receiving more information as the work progresses. We also have work groups focused on the gardens, coding and the Makerspace. Please let me know if you would like to join one of these groups, or if you have any questions.