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Report from architecture firm calls for new school, renovations

Mar 21, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The architectural firm reviewing the needs of Wyoming's highest-capacity school districts has revised its final report on Riverton's needs.

The Wyoming School Facilities Commission will review the report, along with five others, during its April meeting.

New priorities

Previously, representatives from MOA Architecture said they would recommend the SFC fund the construction of a $27 million school for K-3 students in Riverton, combined with an interior renovation to Rendezvous Elementary School.

That option has become the group's second-choice scenario, however, while their previous No. 2 pick now is preferred. The new recommendation calls for construction of a K-3 elementary school, an addition to Jackson Elementary School, and the interior renovation of Rendezvous.

"This is the final recommendation we've submitted," MOA's Brandon Daigle told the Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

He pointed to an "alternate" option that would be preferred if state officials decide Jackson needs to be replaced with a newer structure.

"If it's deemed Jackson, on a condition assessment, is higher on the needs index and the replacement costs outweigh the renovation costs, we'd then promote (replacing) Jackson, providing a new K3 and renovating Rendezvous," Daigle said.

According to MOA's report, that alternative scenario, or "scenario 3," was not presented as the most cost-effective remedy right away "due to the well-maintained condition of the 1960s school." But Daigle agreed with Superintendent Terry Snyder that the third option brings the best educational value to the city.

"I appreciate your acknowledgment (of that)," Snyder said Tuesday. "As we go to the SFC we can be comfortable saying MOA agrees with that criteria, but the cost difference set the final score."

MOA was asked to find the most cost-effective options for the SFC to consider.

After reviewing Daigle's report, the school board voted to endorse MOA's new recommendation and alternative scenario -- the "clear top preference of the district" according to Snyder's notes.

The school board representatives said they would not be supportive of MOA's previous recommendation, which is now the firm's second-choice option.

"(The board will) advocate for the option that has the greatest positive impact on the educational opportunities for our kids," Snyder said. "That's the position we believe is our role in the process."

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