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Title : Active Scene - New DC West Middle School Construction
Description : On the rise. Active scene. The DC West Middle School construction project is well underway along the southeast side of the Valley campus. Crews continue to set pre-cast walls, in a project slated for completion in time for the 2017-2018 school year that starts Wednesday, August 23.

“We are absolutely ecstatic to provide the community a great space and to move forward,” said Dr. Melissa Poloncic, Superintendent of DC West Schools.

Expansion Price Tag
The new middle school will house 10 classrooms, a commons area, and a set of restrooms. The District paid for the $2.62 million construction project cost by using their QCPUF, building and depreciation funds. The tax levy remains unchanged at $1.08 per $100 of property valuation. BCDM Architects designed the project. Boyd Jones serves as the construction management firm.

The relocation of the Middle School from Waterloo to Valley coincides with the district's Valley campus expansion master vision - Pre-K - 12th grade schools located at one site.

This past year and a half, the district has made great strides, building three sets of ADA-compliant DC West High school restrooms and public restrooms near the high school competition gym. New fire sprinklers were also installed on the majority of Valley’s campus. The Early Education Center moved from Waterloo to portable classrooms next door to DC West Elementary School in Valley.

That construction project cost about $2.367 million to relocate classrooms, fix environmental hazards, make restrooms ADA complaint, improve indoor air quality and correct life safety code violations with the installation of fire sprinklers and maintenance of existing heat sensors.

Mold Solution
This middle school relocation project comes at an ideal time. Last August, high levels of mold were found in an isolated area in the special education classroom, band room, and adjacent offices. After remediation, the district continues to cut a monthly check for a local testing company to keep bi-weekly tabs of air quality - an unplanned expense. The Board of Education faced a conundrum.
“We were concerned that if we did the (Middle School) repairs that the air quality issues may return. There was no guarantee that it would fix the problem. The second reason the Board approved the move to Valley is a community survey indicated 74 percent support moving all school buildings to one campus,” said Poloncic.

The Middle School relocation to the Valley Campus also means students gain about 1800 additional instructional minutes per school year, said Jeremy Travis, Principal at DC West Middle School.

The Valley move also saves operational and district transportation costs for staff mileage and vehicle wear and tear.

“I can have all my maintenance staff on one campus. We can communicate and work more efficiently than running back and forth. There is nothing but good that can become of this move to Valley” said Scott Perrigo, Supervisor of DC West Maintenance.

“Programming-wise, we are going to be able to offer a lot more to our students. We'll offer more extra classes that they wouldn’t be able to have at our Waterloo campus. Students can walk down the hall to the shop. An 8th grader can walk down the hall for a geometry class,” noted Travis who also shared that the middle school shall serve 6-8th students, with DC West Elementary to be Pre-K- 5th grade.

Versatile Building Uses
“In addition, as our long-term strategic development plan outlines, years down the road, we can convert this Valley middle school building into ADA-compliant high school locker rooms and physical education spaces,” emphasized Poloncic.

Decommissioning Waterloo School
The Board of Education meantime has begun conversations on safely decommissioning the Waterloo campus. Meanwhile, kitchen equipment, tables, the security system, computers and the like will be used at the new middle school.

District Eyes Years Ahead
District officials believe this overall Valley campus expansion plan sets the stage for development. “We are creating our future. We’re developing a plan that is working for our community, our students and staff, done step-by-step,” stated Poloncic.

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Produced by Communications Consultant Susan Stern. DC West Community Schools. All rights reserved. April 2017.
Music Courtesy of Scott Holmes: "Follow Your Dreams” (freemusicarchive.org). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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