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During the summer of 2015, several community meetings were held to access the will of the stakeholders to build new schools/structures in Germantown. Of all the ideas presented and discussed, the most frequent desire of stakeholders was a full replacement of portables on the Riverdale Elementary School campus. The school, built for a full capacity of 800 students, currently houses 1,200. This overage of students has been accommodated for 17 years by 22 portables situated behind the school. All five members of the Germantown Municipal School Board were in agreement that local control of our schools should include a plan to replace these portables with a brick and mortar solution. With feedback from the stakeholders and the support of the Board, the District went forward with plans to build the Riverdale Addition.
Stakeholders, including Riverdale administrators, teachers, parents, and other community experts met with our team and the designers from A2H several times throughout the year to fine tune the plans. What began as a process to simply replace the 22 portables with classrooms, ended up as a look at the programatic needs of the school. Those included: a full science lab, fitted for flexibility and use by the Inventions and Innovations; an art studio with space for a kiln; along with a band room with built-in instrument storage and private practice rooms. Many stakeholders felt that abundant natural light should be factored into the design. The teachers suggested additional restrooms for the faculty as well as a conference room to meet with parents and hold IEP meetings. As the planning process began to take shape, the community members began to talk about this building project as being representative of the Germantown brand that our schools will continue to further.
Construction is expected to begin in May of 2016 with a tentative completion date in May of 2017. Stay tuned for information about a Ground Breaking Ceremony as we near the official beginning of the construction.
Click here to view Superintendent Jason Manuel discuss the project on his show, Spotlight on Excellence (Feb. 2016).