Burke Town School Planning for Renovations

burke school thumbnailBURKE - The Burke Town School is looking into renovating its facilities after a One Burke Community visit back in october. The Burke School Board, who attended the meeting, approved of $7,500 to be spent completing a report looking into plans for a Preliminary Facility Analysis Report.

Also, one of the focuses of the town that was decided during the community visit was "expanding education facilities". This is just one of the many articles on the plan for One Burke Priorities, but for the time being it ultimately means that the Burke Town School is going to be seeing a few expansions to the existing structure.

At a recent Interview with Jennifer Botzojorns, who will be the new Superintendent for the Burke Town School after it joins the Kingdom East School District; she said that the school was looking into expanding the middle school building and renovating the heating system. The school was also looking into plans for increasing the size of the gymnasium since the school could not hold formal assemblies with all the students at once. "I've been inside the little mobile building that they hold the middle school classes in, it used to be my old office building, and it really needs some improvements. The heating system definitely needs to be looked at, and the size of the building needs to be enlarged to fit all of the students in our middle school. The other major renovation that needs to take place is enlarging the school gym so that formal assemblies can be held where all students are present. As it stands right now the school has no area that can host the entire student body."

The Chair of the One Burke Community, Des Hertz, says that they "have been working in conjunction with the Burke School Board looking at population data and trends and analyzing the state of our current school facility". One can only imagine that since that time, they have realized how much of a space disadvantage the school has. Burke principal, Stacy Rice, said in a recent update that the school was looking for an architectural consultant, and once they had everybody needed they would complete a needs assessment to the existing facility by the start of the New Year.

At a School Board meeting held on December 11th, the board met with the Principal, Superintendent and the Faculty Director to go over what their findings and research have brought to their attention. Above all it would seem that the school needs to grow, according to the consultant update that recently surveyed the school during normal school hours. While the consultant did a thorough job and checked every single foot of the facility, it would seem that the biggest necessary improvement to the school would be to enlarge the facilities to better accommodate the students. While the consultant could not deny that the Burke Town School was very efficient at using space to their advantage, they simply are not big enough to house all of their students. Other take aways were simple changes such as replacing a few floors and doors, re-insulating the interior, making a few adjustments to the roof, etc.

As for a timeline regarding when the school will be seeing actual renovations, it is still too early to tell. In the interview referenced earlier, Botzojorns said that it was still much too early to discuss definite, concrete plans for the facility, and that there is still much planning that needs to be made before they will be able to move forward with the project. That being said, it would be great to know whether the Burke Town School plans to renovate their facility before the district merger in July, or if they are going to wait till after the merger and try to move forward with the plan with seven other schools in mind. Sadly, it is just too early to tell.