Following a March 9 symposium to gather ideas for a new Ogden Elementary, planning teams of staff members and architects translated the key themes into architectural concepts and designs. On March 11 they unveiled three concepts for a new, larger school. The following illustrations are artistic conceptual drawings only. They do not reflect final school design plans.
Concept 1: Community school
This concept imagines the school as the hub of the community. A large plaza would serve as a town square with space for community organizations and school-based support. Different neighborhood-like spaces would comprise the interior, with areas for wellness, the arts and exploration. Classroom areas might feature collaborative working spaces, movable walls and nearby restrooms. An outdoor courtyard and onsite nature reserve could provide nature-based learning opportunities. A larger area for pickups/dropoffs and bus loading/unloading would ease traffic around the school.
Concept 2: Green school
Another concept envisioned a building constructed with sustainable materials that would harness alternative energy and bring nature inside the school. An internal courtyard, ample natural light and air and moveable walls creating indoor/outdoor connections would integrate the structure into the surrounding area. The concept also included a treelike structure in the center of the school and dry creek bed running from the entry through the school and into the play area. The facility could be used as a learning tool, connecting its features into the curriculum and allowing students to complete hands-on projects. Outside the school, a natural playground, paths, quiet and eating spaces and a community garden and recycling center would extend learning opportunities for both students and the community.
Concept 3: The stream
A stream runs through the third concept, which embraces fluidity in time, space and work. Spaces are adaptable for many uses by students, staff and the community. Student-centered learning allows for gradual independence whether working independently or collaboratively. The two-story structure could contain activity spaces and an exploratorium/media center. The building, made of sustainable materials and providing opportunities for environmental studies, would foster connections between the interior and exterior. Large open spaces around the school could be used for athletics and other activities. And separate dropoff/pickup and bus loading/unloading areas would alleviate traffic.
In March 2016, the planning team presented its ideas to the school’s staff and the community to gather additional feedback. Extensive review and planning will assess feasibility and affordability and hone the concepts into more detailed plans.
The large, flat existing site would allow the district to build a new school on the same property. The current Ogden Elementary could be used to house King Elementary temporarily as that school also is being rebuilt.
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In March 2015, the district conducted an informal online survey about district facilities needs. More than 1,500 respondents—parents, students, staff members and the community—told VPS how its buildings and properties could be improved and suggested schools that should be rebuilt. Ongoing symposia and staff, parent and community presentations are providing input on school designs. This input helps district leaders assess facilities needs and plan for the future.
Many VPS schools are slated to be rebuilt or significantly renovated. Every other VPS school will receive upgrades.
Proposed funding for the work is a bond measure that could be on the ballot in February 2017. However, the district’s board of directors must first approve the measure before it can appear on the ballot.
The community last approved a VPS bond measure in 2001. That bond helped replace or build Eisenhower, Franklin, Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Sarah J. Anderson and Washington elementary schools and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.