Thursday, November 2, 2017

A bit of background information...

At their 2017 Annual Meeting, voters approved a renovation project for AE/MS. The construction and renovations will focus on Safety, Systems, and Space; however, educational opportunities and connections will be an important aspect to this project. During the 2017-2018 school year the focus of the Building Project will be design, planning, and scheduling. The first shovel won't hit the ground until the spring of 2018. Once the heavy machinery and crews are onsite...look out! Things are going to move quickly.

Please stay tuned to this blog for updates, features, and information about this exciting project. Many thanks to the community, the ASD Board, Lake Sunapee BankMarinace Architects, and CCI. For more information about the Building Project, please check the AE/MS website - http://www.aemseagles.org/home/building-project.


Some background information about this project.......

The full Andover Beacon article can be found online.

Andover High School was built as FDR was bringing his New Deal to help pull the United States from the Great Depression. The 1940s and the '50s saw a few minor additions to Andover High School, and 1960 brought the first major building expansion. In the 1970s, the school was converted to an elementary school. The “new wing” was built in 1992, and with that the Andover Elementary/Middle School (AE/MS) facility as we know it sits.

The last 26 years have seen no structural additions or major renovations at AE/MS. In 2007, the Andover School Board brought a $4.7 million dollar building proposal to the voters, but this project was not approved. On the heels of that, some code compliance and safety issues were addressed to ensure AE/MS would continue to pass inspection. Temporary measures were applied to mitigate ongoing issues.

The Andover School Board is very cognizant of the value of AE/MS. AE/MS is a hub of activity for not only students, teachers, and parents, but also for the entire Town of Andover. Andover residents are rightfully proud of AE/MS. Each year, the taxpayers invest their own money (via property taxes) to ensure our students are afforded a great educational experience and that students are “soaring to be the best they can be!”

In March of 2014, the voters approved a Facilities Study to gain specific information on building needs. This Facilities Study was completed in December of 2014 (access the study here: Goo.gl/uhy5SO). At the March 2015 School Annual Meeting, the Andover School Board presented the five design layers illustrated in this study. These layers encapsulate and identify the current needs of AE/MS. They include:

  • Access and Security 
  • Space Needs 
  • Code Compliance 
  • Operations and Maintenance 
  • Building Enclosure and Environmental Systems 
During the 2015-2016 school year, members from the Andover School Board and the SAU met with a community-based Facilities Task Force to review the Facilities Study and to gain public input and perspective on priorities and needs. This representative group met nine different times throughout the year. Meetings included question and answer sessions with administration, review and inquiry opportunities with the architect, and time to work and grapple with the information. In the end, the Task Force made recommendations to the Board for their consideration.

Through a lot of collaborative work the Task Force recommendations and priorities led to a 34% decrease in the original budget associated with the needs identified through the Facilities Study. This interactive discourse and deep questioning was extremely beneficial to the Board and the Task Force. We are extraordinarily grateful for the time and effort that the members of the Task Force donated to this cause.