The Wayne County Board of Education approved a motion to hire DECO Architects to design the new elementary school that will eventually replace Walker Early Learning Center. The new facility is is being sparked by federal COVID Relief funding, and will be located somewhere on the main campus.
DECO Architects representative Derrick Phillips and Jessica Phillips, both Wayne County School graduates, presented an impressive presentation of an elementary learning center based on a more non-traditional pod or cluster of classrooms connected to outdoor spaces. Their ideas incorporated the state academic standards, while classrooms joined a hub for special indoor activities and were divided into communities. The facility would be anchored by a cafeteria and gymnasium.
According to the architect, the preliminary project goals were to create a premier facility, setting a new standard of design, while considering the constructability of the project. The plan would also make a positive contribution to the overall campus while taking into account the traffic flow.
There were a total of five different architecture firms that were considered for the project. Wayne County Superintendent Wayne Roberts and a committee of educators interviewed the firms in consideration for the project. After reviewing DECO’s preliminary schematic drawings and ideas, the committee agreed they would be the best firm to do the design. After sharing DECO’s concepts for the project at the meeting, Superintendent Roberts recommended them and the board unanimously agreed to hire the Somerset based firm.
A special called board meeting will be held on September 2 at 6:00 p.m. to continue to discuss the new elementary school plans which are in their earliest stage of development.
In other business:
*Superintendent Roberts reported on a smooth first day of school. The mask mandate was observed at each school building.
*The district received Erate funding for switches and wireless access point upgrades through Extreme Networks at an 85% discount. The total cost for the project was $312,771.60, however the district will only pay $46,915.74 for their part.
*The board approved a continuation of learning waiver request that provides a stricter plan for virtual learning where students must mirror the in-person classroom schedule where attendance is taken twice a day.
*During the recognition segment, six Wayne County High School students who are members of the Casting Cardinals were recognized for reaching the state and national level of competition. Those recognized were Jenna Morrow and Hannah Kempton, the first female school anglers to make it to such a high level. Kason Stockton and Alex West, along with Ethan Burnette and Bryson Sloan made up the two male teams that had a successful season and attended their national championship, as well. Coaches and boat captains were also commended for their support of the program.
Lady Casting Cards (l-r:) Hannah Kempton and Jenna Morrow shared their success attending nationals this summer during the recognition segment of the meeting.
Four WCHS Casting Cards (l-r:) Kason Stockton, Alex West, Ethan Burnette, and Bryson Sloan shared their experience at nationals and how valuable the entire fishing program is in scholarship opportunities and learning opportunities.
Casting Cards posed for a photo with coaches and boat captains after being congratulated for their summer competitions at the meeting.
Former Bell Elementary Teacher Jessica Phillips was excited to tie a future building project into a learning center making it a magical place for children.
Architect Derrick Phillips presented an overview of the project to the Board of Education.
Board Chairman Larry Muse reviewed some of the details in the proposal with the representatives from DECO Architects after the meeting.