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Elementary #5 Planning Update

Four meetings were held the week of August 26 to gather input on plans for Elementary #5, which will be built on district-owned land on Darden Hill Road, just east of the intersection with Sawyer Ranch Road. Two meetings included teachers and staff, one was with the general public/community, and one was specifically held for neighbors who live near the site.

The 155-acre site was purchased by the district in 2010 and is large enough to accommodate a variety of district facilities, potentially including an elementary school, a middle school, a high school, and possibly a satellite transportation facility. However, no decision has been made about the future of high schools in the district; that community conversation will continue this school year. Where the elementary school is placed on the site will be primarily determined by what location is most beneficial to serve the needs of an elementary school and what location provides the best options for future development of the site. The location of the elementary school on the site will be determined in the immediate future.

At the recent meetings, input was gathered on potential locations of the school on the site as well as the design elements that are desirable in an elementary school. Some topics of discussion were: traffic impact, improvements to Darden Hill Road, location of the building on the property, how the entire 155 acres might be developed to include other facilities in the future, and features of the building, among other things. Questions were asked about attendance zones; boundary decisions would not be made until the spring prior to the building being opened (2021) so that the most current demographic data can be used.

The architect also will use input gathered throughout the design planning process for the Walnut Springs Elementary relocation project regarding desired building features and design preferences.

Prior to the community and staff meetings, the architect presented at the Board of Trustees meeting on August 26, and included some potential design concepts for the building. However, after receiving feedback from campus and district staff, a decision was made to step back and gather more general input before moving forward with schematic drawings.

Several next steps will occur in the coming weeks. Community feedback received during recent meetings will be incorporated into the feasibility plan for use of the 155-acre site. The architect will continue to review potential design schemes for the building considering input that was received, and these will be shared at a future Board meeting. In addition, a design review committee will be formed to provide input to the architect and district leaders. District officials will meet with county representatives to discuss road traffic and other issues related to infrastructure.

In addition, an online form is available to gather feedback.