NEPS growth plan still on track

By Brad Mosher
The Herald

 

The plan to expand the New England Public School to meet the population growth is moving forward, according to District Superintendent Kelly Koppinger.
The school district’s building committee met at the school Aug. 28 and decided to keep moving forward with another meeting scheduled for Sept. 18 at the school.
“It was just because we had to put it on hold for awhile,” explained the District Superintendent, Kelly Koppinger.
“We came back around and addressed some of the issues we had talked about (earlier), but had forgotten about because we put it on hold for quite awhile. There are a lot of variables and until we actually get engineers in and the architects start drawing things out, we won’t really know exactly where we are at,” he said after the meeting.
“There are some little things that could potentially be some pitfalls,” Koppinger added.
The district and the committee soon will be looking to hiring a construction manager who would take over the project. “That way, the administration wouldn’t have to (do it).”
The committee still has a lot of decisions to make. “We are trying to tweak and maybe finalize some of the thoughts we had out there and get to a point where we could get the architects (involved). We are still trying to maximize and best utilize what we have available.”
The priorities have been met which means it comes down on how to best use the finding and construction choices, the superintendent explained. “We don’t want to paint ourselves in a corner. We are continuing to see increased enrollment and we need to see beyond our immediate needs and see maybe 20 years ahead.
“We are looking at filling in a courtyard. We are looking at second stories. The meeting was to get us back on track and getting a look at and see where we want to go with this (construction). We know are prorities… whether we need cafeteria or classroom space. “
One of the choices is a big one. “Our best case scenario is looking as building brand new and just keeping some of the things that we have here that we have utilized effectively, like a secondary gym,” the superintendent said.
As it currently stands, the construction project is scheduled to start in the spring of 2020.
The students and teachers are already adapting to increased growth which is crowding the campus. There are teachers already rotating through different classroom when the regular teacher in on a prep period.
The faculty is already using every bit of campus space they can find, he explained.

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