By Heather Moery
Special to The Sun
Orvis Risner Elementary School soon will be getting a new look thanks to renovations on the interior and exterior of the school.
At Monday’s Edmond Board of Education meeting, the school board approved the preliminary architectural plans for construction projects for additions and renovations to Orvis Risner Elementary School, 2801 S. Rankin. This project will be paid for out of 2013-14 bond monies and is estimated at $3 million.
One of the most notable changes will be to the school’s main entrance, which will “give some character to a 52-, 53-year-old school, but still keep its original character,” said Bret Towne, associate superintendent with Edmond Public Schools.
Towne said it has been a challenge to develop the main entrance.
“This will really say this is Orvis” once the entrance is completed, he said.
In addition to the front entrance, the side entrances also will be renovated with side canopies and will have a similar look to the front entrance.
“It will give the building a little character, but still defined as a secondary entrance,” Towne said.
Other changes also will include a renovated media center with a new ceiling, flooring and fresh paint.
Towne said a future addition at the school may include a much larger media center, in which he said the center would be big enough for the school to add a storm shelter, as well as other needed classrooms.
There will be a big change in the school kitchen as well, increasing from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet in size.
“It looks like a 1950s kitchen,” Towne said about the current school kitchen.
Other changes to the interior will include floor to ceiling remodeling in the southern part of the school, as well as the addition of office space for administration.
Phase one of the project could begin as early as May 2014, Towne said.
Three other schools and the Edmond Public Schools Administrative Center will also receive some renovations.
The auditorium at Edmond North High School will have its tile flooring replaced to mimic the rest of the school. The main hallway, which is part of the original Sequoyah Middle School, will get a new ceiling, tile on the walls and lockers. The gym will receive new bleachers near the student section.
Six science classes also will be renovated. Towne said science teachers at the high school worked with architects “to really get what their needs are.” The North renovations are estimated to cost $2.5 million.
The freshman academy at Santa Fe High School will have expanded seating, a sound system with acoustical material and an outdoor eating area. Acid proof rubber flooring will be added in science classrooms as well.
Other renovations at the high school include updating the auditorium lobby with new flooring, lights and drywall and the auditorium itself will receive acoustical surfacing. Restrooms throughout the entire school are expected to be renovated.
There will also be expansion to the wrestling room, new flooring and lockers in the locker rooms, bleacher repair and the addition of a center divider curtain at the practice gym, as well as new flooring in the band and vocal rooms and renovations to the wrestling, volleyball and basketball laundry room. The lobby and restrooms in the lobby of the competition guy will be renovated, too.
These renovations are estimated to cost $2.5 million.
Renovations for Edmond North and Santa Fe high schools are expected to begin in the summer of 2014.
At Frontier Elementary School, which opened in August, a six-classroom pod for third grade will be added.
“We are concerned that this school could grow out very quickly,” Towne said.
Towne said if funds are available, two alternate classrooms for a computer lab and health room also could be added.
The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 2015-16 school year and is estimated to cost $2.1 million.
The Edmond Public Schools Administrative Center also will have renovations, including the addition of storage spaces, parking, more private office spaces and increased conference space in the superintendent’s office. Spaces that are currently storage will be renovated.
The project is expected to only take six months and to cost $950,000.
Each school site project was unanimously approved by the school board.
Kemp Cole, school board vice president who represents District 5, was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting.