By Kaitlin Olson for Arizona Daily Sun
Following a November work session, Flagstaff Unified School District has selected Killip Elementary School for replacement using funds from the 2018 bond measure.
Groundbreaking on the new $19M school that will be built adjacent to the existing school, is projected to begin early next year, with completion by fall 2022.
In a facility assessment conducted in early 2018, the now-72-year-old school and Kinsey Elementary, which was built 10 years later, were both recommended for replacement; costs to repair the two schools to last a few more years would have totaled more than $9M.
The bond measure allocated a total of $29.6M for replacement of one school and renovations to Mount Elden Middle School, another of the district’s oldest identified by the facility assessment for major repairs. Physical updates to the middle school, including a new 8KSF building, began in July and are scheduled for completion as early as this coming fall.
FUSD Superintendent Mike Penca said the need to replace Killip became more urgent with the flooding risk caused by the Museum Fire this summer. The school’s 9.4-acre parcel will also allow for replacement to occur on the same property while school is in session.
When Killip was named for possible replacement, the school formed a building committee that determined some of the school’s needs, such as general updates to spaces for physical education and after-school activities (which are currently held in the cafeteria), as well as improved utilities.
Air conditioning is also a need for Killip, which has been on a modified calendar for more than 20 years, keeping students in the facility for much of the summer. Killip Principal Joe Gutierrez said only the school’s front office currently has air conditioning.
The building committee plans to visit newly built schools in the Phoenix area for reference as the planning process begins.
Although design of the new school is still to be determined, Penca and Gutierrez agreed a priority, pending community input, will be to replicate existing roles and spaces, such as areas for community gatherings and the school’s green spaces and garden.
The new school will aim to better reflect Killip’s recent certification as a STEM Provider, both in spaces and in partnerships the school hopes to form with the project crew to show students engineering in action.
The architect and engineer, which are scheduled to be selected by May, earn a percentage of the overall budget, which will be negotiated once the contract is awarded. Assistant Superintendent of Operations Bob Kuhn said the district hopes to settle around 6 percent compared to standard projects at 10 percent which equates to a little more than $1M.
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