Anderson Elementary (Courier file photo)
Anderson Elementary (Courier file photo)
Three architectural firms bidding for the addition and renovation of Anderson Elementary School each submitted their visions for the project to the Madison Consolidated School Board at the March 8 meeting.

The board voted in January to close E.O. Muncie Elementary School at the end of the 2017-18 school year and reopen Anderson in August 2018 for the kindergarten through fourth grade students displaced from Muncie.

Built in 1969, with an addition in 1988, Anderson was one of two elementary schools in the corporation closed in 2012 as a $1.5 million cost-cutting measure recommended by then-interim Superintendent Steve Gookins. Canaan Elementary School was closed in 2010.

Since its closure as an elementary school, Anderson has served as a day-care facility and as the district’s pre-kindergarten education center.

The school board has been grappling with what to do with E.O. Muncie since 2014. Proposals from two firms in March 2016 estimated that just renovating the existing building would cost more than $6 million; renovation plus an addition would cost more than $12 million and a new building would cost at least $14.5 million. Funding any of those options would require voters to approve a referendum.

In January, the board voted use the district’s $2.6 million Rainy Day Fund plus other money transferred from the General and Transportation funds, to renovate and expand the Anderson building for $3 million to $3.5 million, avoiding a referendum.

The Proposals

George Link, principal architect for VPS Architecture of Evansville, offered proposals for both one-story and two-story options for adding eight to nine classrooms at Anderson.

Link gave estimates for the one-story option, which he said he favored because it would eliminate stairs and the need for an elevator to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The new addition would be attached by a short enclosed hallway to eliminate the need to build a firewall between the existing building and the new construction, also a cost-saving move, Link said.

The plans include a new secure public entrance, either on the north side of the existing building or within the new addition. There would be additional parking in front of the new building, complete with a circular drive where parents could drop off or pick up students at the new entrance. The plan also calls for relocation of thru-traffic lanes and the addition of a one-way egress roadway from the parking lot to Michigan Road.

The total cost, including expansion and renovation of the cafeteria and kitchen, as well as surveys and other fees, would be $3.25 million.

Brad Noe presented proposals for Nomi of Louisville, which has done several projects for MCS, including the renovation and new secure entrance and administrative offices under way at Madison Consolidated High School.

Noe reminded the board that all 12 of Nomi’s projects with the district have come in under budget and have been completed on or ahead of schedule.

Without giving specific cost estimates, Nomi presented designs that included a one-story attached addition for eight classrooms, with suggestions for where nine more classrooms and a new media center could be added in the future, or an addition for four classrooms with suggestions for eight more classrooms and a new media center in the future.

In each option, the administration offices would be located in the new addition. Nomi gave two options for parent drop-off and pickup – either in the front of the new addition, or in the rear of the addition, where there also could be additional parking.

Buses would pickup and drop-off students either at the current main entrance or in front of the expanded cafeteria, with a new circular bus driveway.

The third presentation was given by Matthew R. Mayol of the Ogle McGuire Shook architectural firm based in Indianapolis.

Mayol proposed both one- and two-story additions that include eight classrooms, bathrooms and storage, as well as a new administrative office with a secure main entrance.

His proposal for the two-story addition features four classrooms and a boys and girls bathroom on each floor, as well as storage space and an elevator.

Mayol’s proposal also includes parking and an oblong circular driveway for parents in front of the new addition and angled parking for buses to load and drop-off students curbside at the existing entrance. A potential egress lane for parents could be built to connect to the parking lot of Faith Alliance Church next to the school, he said.

Mayol said the projected costs would be $2.8 million for the one-story addition and $3.3 million for the two story plan.

The board tabled the issue to give members more time to review the proposals and is expected to vote on the matter at it’s next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12.