North Elementary Renovation Project
OverviewIn 2021, Danville Community School Corporation will be making a series of upgrades to North Elementary School (DNE), which houses the district's kindergarten through second grade students, along with students from the Little Warrior Learning Center and students in the developmental preschool program. Corporation and building leadership have been developing plans for the project over the last two to three years.The project's scope includes window replacement, LED lighting, ceiling grids, carpet, wall coverings, and mechanical systems upgrades, among other items. Importantly, the project will also include the installation of a secure vestibule to provide safe building entry and the addition of a multipurpose room to be used for childcare, group instruction, cafeteria overflow, and staff training.At the February 2020 school board meeting, the project was discussed and approval provided to advertise for a project hearing. At the March 2020 school board meeting, a public hearing was held to discuss the project and the school board approved a resolution outlining the project scope. The March 2020 school board meeting included presentations from the project architect and financial advisor. Presentation materials are listed below. At the April 2020 school board meeting, the project was discussed and the school board approved an amendment to a building corporation lease and a resolution authorizing an additional appropriation. Notice was published in The Republican in advance of each meeting.Additional details on the scope of the project are in the building diagram on this page.TimelineThe school corporation secured project funding during the summer of 2020. Work was scheduled to commence in early fall 2020 and end in late fall 2021, but complications due to COVID-19 delayed the project. Work began on the project in December 2020 and will hopefully be completed in late 2021. Corporation and building leadership have been planning for classrooms that may be temporarily displaced as work occurs. The corporation is working with project partners to structure work in a way that keeps classroom disruption as limited as possible.FinancingThe estimated cost for the project is $5.35 million. Because the corporation paid off several general obligation bonds in fall 2020, the North Elementary project will be funded without increasing the debt service property tax rate above what taxpayers paid in 2020. Property taxes supporting this project will first be paid in spring 2021.First mortgage bonds were sold in 2020 to finance the project. The bonds will be repaid in full over a two-year period, with debt payments in 2021 and 2022. The tax rate to pay the bonds is subject to property tax caps. Additional details are in the financial advisor presentation on this page.A note for readers: residents sometimes ask why school corporations use debt service property taxes for building projects and not for other initiatives, such as teacher pay. The short answer is that state law allows school corporations to use the debt service fund only for capital needs (such as building renovations) and limited other uses. Personnel costs are paid from the Education and Operations Funds, which have different revenue streams from the debt service fund.
March 2021Renovation work at North Elementary has been moving at a fast pace over the last several weeks. The preschool wing is currently gutted from floor to ceiling. Contractors are updating electric and plumbing lines beneath the concrete floor.This space used to be restrooms; the northern portion of it (right side of the photo) will now serve as the eastern edge of the new multipurpose learning space.This photo shows the exterior of the building where the multipurpose room will sit.The multipurpose room is a new area that will be used for large group instruction, PACE childcare, continuing education for teachers and staff, and various other purposes. It will be situated adjacent to the preschool wing and across the hallway from the cafeteria. It is roughly the size of three standard elementary classrooms.Here, we can see where the crew is installing concrete footers to house the steel beam frames.Outside of the multipurpose room, the building will feature updated restrooms to replace the facilities previously connecting the main hallway and the preschool wing, along with a brand new set of boys and girls restrooms in the hallway between the front office and library. The new restrooms are close to the cafeteria and provide an additional option for when the restrooms in the westside of the building are occupied by another class.The preschool classrooms themselves are being outfitted with new carpet and wall coverings. The project also includes revamped building HVAC controls, which will improve our ability to manage temperatures in different segments of the building.Finally, work is underway for the secure vestibule at the front of the building. The new vestibule will grant front office staff increased control over access to the building, improving safety and lining the design up more closely with South Elementary and Danville Community Middle School.The canopy leading to the front entrance of the building has been deconstructed. Work on the new secure entrance is about to begin.April 2021The crews have taken advantage of mostly favorable weather (other than our April snow shower!) over the last few weeks to make significant progress on the North Elementary renovation.In the last few days, the team has completed significant work on underground plumbing and electric lines. Slab has been poured for portions of the new hallway and front entrance, along with the multipurpose space.Windows have been installed in the north pod. Over the course of the project, exterior windows throughout the building will be upgraded to a commercial-grade aluminum and glass set.Exterior walls for the central building addition are beginning to take shape. The masonry, electrical, and plumbing teams are working concurrently on the front entrance area, multipurpose room, new bathrooms, and new hallway.In the weeks ahead, the team will move forward with roofing and flooring in the building addition areas. Around the end of the school year, work will transition to the western portion of the building that houses most of the classrooms. Between the summer and fall, each classroom will see lighting, window, carpet, and wall covering upgrades.May 2021The construction project is kicking into high gear this summer as school winds down. Work continues on the LWLC pod, front entrance, and multipurpose space. In the coming days, community members will see a 50 ton crane on-site that will help crews set steel in the new construction areas. The multipurpose space is coming along nicely and will allow for a wide range of uses beginning in the 21-22 school year.Over the first week of summer break, the temporary wall that has run down the main corridor will come down. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC crews will be completing work that is typically out-of-site for building users, such as electrical wiring updates, water main configuration, and heating and air technology system enhancements.Teachers and staff have been busy packing up rooms and moving their belongings. This summer, extensive renovation work will occur in the kindergarten wing, library, main hallway, and front office. During the fall, work will continue into the first and second grade wings. We are so excited watching the progress and can't wait to showcase the renovated building to students and staff as work is completed next school year.