Our Elementary Objective: BackgroundThe ESM Strategic Plan has provided the framework for guiding the decisions to create alignment between instructional goals and the learning environments to support student learning at all levels. Beginning with the construction of ESE in 2002, the district created and executed a long-range vision of school building improvements. The voting community has supported major renovation, expansion and modernization of the high school, integration of “Safe and Sound” security and infrastructure improvements, and the complete renovation and expansion of Pine Grove Middle School.
How was the "Our Elementary Objective" project developed?
A comprehensive project like Our Elementary Objective takes the involvement of many people. Starting in 2016, the district’s architects mapped out the conditions of each of the five schools as a baseline.
These professionals identified the building systems that had exceeded their useful life, and those areas that – mostly due to advanced age – no longer represented modern instructional environments, or safety-first design.
ESM’s principals then began meeting with their staff members to focus on instructional needs. For example, at Woodland, the lack of classroom walls – a quaint product of 50 years ago – was not conducive to 21st century instruction. They discussed how these changes should be realized. ESM stakeholders were asked to provide their input on current building realities and to define their aspirations for success in learning.
District leaders and the architectural team then set about creating conceptual plans that could be open to further dialogue with the Board of Education, staff and the larger community. Over time, these plans were refined and then presented to the larger public through small group meetings. The business office worked with the architect, construction manager and the State Education Department to develop the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering the project.
On October 22, 2018, the Board adopted a resolution to move forward with the vote. Voters overwhelmingly approved the project at a public vote on December 11, 2018. Following the successful vote, the district began the process of design development, State Education
Department approval, local bidding and, most importantly, student logistics—all of which must take place before construction can begin. The earliest any type of construction could take place would be during the 2020-21 school year.