Facilities Master Plan/St Anthony Park Remodeling
The facilities master plan is a function of the St. Paul Public Schools and it works to prioritize remodeling and other needed changes at all schools across the district. It has had 4 phases beginning in the spring of 2014 and cultivating in the present plan. St. Anthony Park has not been remodeled since the 1970s and it is great need of environmental, architectural and other changes related to educational space and school safety. Many other district buildings have been remodeled in the interim and it is now our turn. This is great opportunity for us to go from an antiquated, run down space into one that provides more natural light, more kid appropriate learning environments and greater school safety.
The facilities master plan is a 10 year plan and more information regarding the entire plan across the district can be found at http://facilities.spps.org/fmp
St. Anthony Park is on the priority list for near term remodeling, but construction would likely not begin until the summer of 2017. The priorities of this remodeling are manifold, but primarily to (1) provide greater equitability of classroom space across the school (at present there is a large range of classroom sizes), (2) increase school safely by providing an entry way which involves required interaction with school personnel of anyone entering the building, and (3) increase the quality of the educational spaces (as much as possible provide natural light or windows to each classroom). Plans for the remodel involve increasing the physical space in the school through upward and outward additions. The plans also include removal of the portable classrooms on the east side of the school. Plans also include additional restroom space, moving the food service from its present place in the school hallway to a space inside a remodeled cafeteria. However, nothing about the physical remodeling is set in stone and meetings like the Community Meeting being help on February 24th will allow the entire school community to give input regarding the plans.
To clarify, remodeling of the school and becoming a 4-tier school are two separate issues, though they are happening at the same time. The increases in physical space will help make it possible for SAP to include 4 classrooms at each grade level (or 24 total classrooms) without the use of portable classrooms. Note we nearly have the space now for 4 tier enrollment numbers if we include portable classrooms, but use of such classroom space is being discouraged.
The numbers of students will not be dictated by space available, but instead by enrollment numbers. Over the course of time SAP has varied in the number of grades at which is has 3 and 4 classrooms. Presently we have 4 classrooms of kindergarten and 3 of each of the other grades (19 classrooms), however in the 2014-2015 school year we had 4 classrooms of kindergarten, first and second grades and 3 classrooms of 3rd, 4th and 5th grades (21 classrooms). A complete 4-tier SAP would have 24 classrooms.
There has already been thought put into how to schedule specialists when there are more classrooms. The teachers favor the specialist rotation schedule as opposed to specialists in 3-4 week blocks. Ruth Krider commented that during the 2014-2015 school year when 2nd grade had four classrooms, they added a math enrichment rotation and capitalized on the shared prep time to work together as a teaching team. Also, they were consciously increasing the physical piece in other areas of their day knowing that Phy Ed was on a 4 day rotation. It is these types of changes to schedule that the steering committee should be instrumental in addressing and proposing solutions for.
Principal Ann Johnson is putting together a steering committee to work with the district personnel to provide direction on what the school will look and feel like after the remodel. If you are interested in serving on such a committee, please contact Ann.
The process of meeting with the Facilities Master Plan committee and involved architects has been going since 2014 and all meetings have been open to school staff, parents and community members. Both Ruth Krider (2nd grader teacher) and Kelsey Dressley (DC Site Manager) have been attendance these meetings and remarked about how they felt the district officials listened carefully to their wishes/concerns/ etc., regarding the school remodeling.