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JOINT CITY COUNCIL INFORMATION COMMITTEE AND RAPID CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING Wednesday, August 22, 2007 ALDERMAN PRESENT: Council President Malcom Chapman, Karen Gunderson Olson, Sam Kooiker, Lloyd Lacroix and Tom Johnson. STAFF PRESENT: Mayor Alan Hanks, Library Director Greta Chapman, Energy Manager Gunar Dzintars and Administrative Secretary Nadine Bauer. (NOTE: For the sake of continuity, the following minutes are not necessarily in chronological order. All referenced documents are on file with the Master Minutes.) Council President Malcom Chapman opened the Information Committee Meeting at 12:34 p.m. in the new library at General Beadle Elementary School, 10 Van Buren Street, Rapid City, South Dakota. School Board President Sheryl Kirkeby opened the Rapid City Board of Education Meeting in the new library at General Beadle Elementary School, 10 Van Buren Street, Rapid City, South Dakota. SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: President Sheryl Kirkeby, Wes Storm, Arnie Laubach, Leah Lutheran, Doug Kinniburgh, Dahne Richards-Cook and Eric Abrahamson. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA: Laubach moved and Storm seconded to approve the establishment of the agenda as presented. Motion carried. (7-0) TOPIC: PRESENTATION AND TOUR OF THE NEW GENERAL BEADLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BUILDING Superintendent Dr. Peter Wharton welcomed everyone for attending today. He stated that even though the building is not quite completed, the School District is very proud of the facility. He added that the purpose of the joint City Council Information Meeting and the Rapid City Board of Education is to explain the community school philosophy and the plan for a satellite library that would maximize resources for not only the students that are served at General Beadle School but people of all ages in the North Rapid Neighborhood Area. Council Information Meeting August 22, 2007 Page 2 of 4 Dr. Wharton provided a handout and a brief explanation of Lifeways, Inc. He explained that this program is a cooperative endeavor between the City of Rapid City, the Rapid City School District, and the State of South Dakota Department of Human Services. Dr. Wharton stated that it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Jim Scull, Scull Construction. He added that this facility would not have been possible without Scull’s leadership and commitment. Scull thanked Wharton and concurred that he and his staff have enjoyed working on this project. He added that the energy, enthusiasm and teamwork on this project has been incredible and that things have gone so smoothly that they are actually several months ahead of schedule. He advised that he has worked on a number of schools in the region and in terms of maintenance free, quality of construction, practicality and functionality; this is a wonderful structure for the community. Dr. Wharton then introduced the architect, Ken Wictor. Wictor advised that he was a part of the design team and presented a brief overview of the facility. Wictor explained that a community school has clinics, classrooms, commons and a library. He added that to construct a school or public facility is a huge investment of money and it is important to get as many hours of use out of a facility as possible without duplicating services, so his team designed the facility to work during and outside of normal school hours. Wictor discussed the building design. He stated that at first some people thought that the design was old fashioned with all of the rectangles. He explained that there is not anything that you cannot do in a circle, triangle or hexagon that you cannot do as well in a rectangle and it costs a lot less money. He added that the design team has created some exciting spaces in rectangles. Wictor stated that the current building site was restrictive and the community school was designed and built to fit this site. He added that another aspect that made this a difficult site was that they had to phase the construction. Wictor explained that first phase of construction included the classrooms, library and clinic which also allowed present operations to continue in the old school. The last phase of construction will be to tear down the old school and build the public meeting room, commons area and finally a full size gym and additional agency space. Wictor further discussed material selection, zoned areas, maintenance and energy efficiency. Council Information Meeting August 22, 2007 Page 3 of 4 In response to a request by Dr. Wharton, Wictor reviewed the layout of the new library. He explained that the library will by 68’ x 100’ and is a nice, clean, open space that will have a computer classroom, circulation desk, an area for lower elementary age children, an area for upper elementary age children, a public area, a story hour space that will have glass from the floor to ceiling for security purposes and a television studio where children can learn how to generate their own programs. In response to a question by Kooiker, Library Director Greta Chapman advised that the library would be open after school, on weekends, and during the summer for the entire community. General Beadle Elementary School Principal Robin Gillespie presented a slide presentation on the philosophy of a community school. She stated the purpose of a community school is to preserve the lives of children. She explained that children are a community’s most important resource and that every child in Rapid City has a right to educational success. She explained that in order to achieve this educational success, the community needs to insure that all of a child’s basic needs are met before they enter school. She added that through teamwork all things are possible and that together we can level the playing field for children with a full service community school. Gillespie explained that low test scores had placed General Beadle School on the state’s school-improvement list for the past six years. She is very happy to report that the students scored well enough last spring to meet the state’s achievement goals for the first time in six years. Gillespie emphasized that a full- service community school meets not only the academic needs of students but it helps families deal with social and economic issues that may hinder children from learning. Gillespie added that the satellite library would offer easy access to library services for almost 4,000 children living in the North Rapid Neighborhood Area. In conclusion, Gillespie thanked everyone who has been involved in the project and in particular her head custodian, Tim Nighbert for all of his help. She then introduced Mark Kenefick to give a presentation on the construction phases. General Beadle Elementary School Dean of Students, Mark Kenefick, reviewed the construction phases for this 12.5 million dollar facility. Kenefick advised that a community school is a national movement that puts all of the pieces together. He explained that there are two parts to a community school the academic part and the community part. He showed on the building diagrams that the academic part will provide cross grade level instruction. He added that since this a large building the idea for the academic part was to have little schools within a big Council Information Meeting August 22, 2007 Page 4 of 4 school. In the community part, the idea was to have a full clinic with medical and dental exams and a training room which will hold up to 60 people. The community part would also provide support services from various agencies such as Black Hills Community Health, Discovery After School Program, Behavior Management, USD School of Nursing, Juvenile Diversion Program, Rapid City Public Library Satellite, Department of Social Services (Economic Assistance and Child Welfare) and other agencies and support organizations. Kenefick explained that the plan is to move into the completed section this November and then Scull Construction will take over the other half of the property and demolish the old school. The final phase will be the construction of a public meeting room, commons area, a full size gym and additional agency space. The final construction phase is projected to be completed in August 2008. Kenefick advised that an important component of the full service community school is to expand library service in the North Rapid Neighborhood Area. He advised that transportation is an issue for many North Rapid residents and to have a library within the community would provide better service and pool resources. In response to a question from an audience member, Library Director Greta Chapman advised that the City of Rapid City would provide $114,000 to operate a satellite library services at General Beadle School. She explained that this would cover staffing, facilities maintenance, and additions to the collection. She added that the school district would contribute $258,000 in this joint venture. School Board Member and Chairman of the State Library Board, Dr. Eric Abrahamson explained that if we want our communities to be competitive economically, we have to create 24 hour learning communities within our cities. He stated that by integrating libraries and school we are emphasizing that learning is a constant ongoing process not only for kids but for adults too and that they can do it in the same space and together. He added that this is an important project statewide and the board is watching what happens in Rapid City as this library will be a model for other communities. As there was no further information to bring before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 1:23 p.m. so that Larry Hermanson could provide a tour of the upper level pod. The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 12:30 p.m.
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