By Mindy Ragan Wood
Colorful renderings of the proposed Redstone Intermediate School were presented to the Yukon Board of Education Monday as anticipation heightens over its pending construction.
The Stacy Group presented their renderings of the $48 million school, which will be financed through a bond issue that was approved last year.
The school is named after the Redstone Ranch housing addition in the Surrey Hills area. It will be located on the corner of Britton and Mustang Road in the heart of the fastest growing residential areas in the district.
The renderings showed a new school cast in red and earth tone hues in the spirit of the red Y logo for the district.
Superintendent Jason Simeroth said he hopes to see older schools in the district re-branded according to the Redstone model.
“We’re going to take this branding district wide, because one of the things we’re going to do in our next (bond) issue is we need to kind of go back and redo some of our older schools with new entrances in the front to beautify them and we’re envisioning, to have the marketing, the branding…something on our buildings on all our sites to bring them all together,” Simeroth said.
Security was clearly an intended part of the design. All doors are automatically locked during class time and unlocked during high traffic times such as the beginning and end of the school day. Teachers will use an entry card to open doors when necessary.
The front of the facility’s well marked features such as lighting and signage shows where the entrance is to limit visitors trying to enter the wrong doors by mistake which elevates security concerns.
At least 29 classrooms, three special education classrooms and six additional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classrooms are planned for all three grade levels. Work rooms for teachers and administrative staff are included.
In addition to standard features such as a cafeteria, stage, music and band rooms, a storm shelter will be under the gymnasium to hold all students and staff in the event of threatening weather. The school will have an art room and the option to add two classrooms and an orchestra room. Other features open to future expansion or as funding from the bond issue allows include extra parking in addition to the planned 150 spaces.
The architects were not the only presenters Monday night. The board heard from the Shedeck third grade honor choir who performed two patriotic songs. The choir sang “Liberty” and sang and performed sign language to “God Bless America.” It was their first performance of the year.
The choir was not the only crowd to be meet with smiles and applause for their work. Board members welcomed each school’s teacher of the year, presented by the school’s principal. Each teacher received an award from the district as did Rebecca Oglesby, who is the 2018-2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.
“I told her before and I’ll say it now, but I expect her to become the nation’s teacher of the year,” Simeroth said.
A special meeting was held Thursday morning regarding the purchase of land at 710 E. Vandament Avenue. The property is adjacent to Independence Elementary School and the high school. The board voted unanimously to buy the lot for $475,000 from Marilyn Cohagen. The large lot has a home and is between IES and Nina Willingham Senior Housing.
Simeroth said the property provided a rare opportunity.
“Rarely does a district get to purchase land adjacent to two schools so we jumped all over it. We’re going to move the fence up closer because it restricts the vision around there. It’s a safety issue,” he said.
The land could be used for a variety of purposes.
“We’ve thrown around so many things. We need more central warehouse space for shipping and receiving. Our IT department is split into a couple of different schools so we may relocate them there. We may move our child nutrition offices over there. There’s a lot of possibilities for it. We haven’t hammered anything down on it. It could be a conglomeration of all those things because it’s a good space. As we probably get into the next bond cycle, we hope to put something out there.”