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Community Comments From Middle School Facilities Meeting

Community members were asked to leave comments and feedback on index cards at the middle school facilities meeting with Moody Nolan architects on Feb. 24. Below is the feedback received from the community members in attendance.

Process/ Engagement

  • Previously solicited prioritization of prescribed values statements should not be confused with the results of an open-ended (non-prescribed) survey
  • It’s important that the community and board remain flexible and be prepared to react nimbly and resiliently as conditions change. e.g. due to cost overruns at high school already caused us to stray from supposed promises in LFC recommendations for various reasons. Keep community engaged and informed
  • Let’s not makes mistakes that were made with our 1970s buildings.
  • What does POR look like how much input have teachers and staff had in drawing up POR?
  • Teachers – not just admin and union – should be actively engaged in determining spaces needed
  • Yes, the exterior is important. I live in the Monticello neighborhood of course it’s important. This presentation does not suggest that thought has been given to where the learning happens or that you do not wish to discuss us with us.
  • This is a very frustrating process. Nobody came here today to give feedback on masonry designs. We care about the spaces our students will be working in. We feel like the “community input” tonight is a sham.
  • The district made a commitment to the community to preserve the historic facades and maintain performing arts spaces. If the district goes back on that promise now they will lose the community trust. And not be able to pass future bond issues or levies.

Equity

  • There must be equity between the two buildings in terms of type and quality of spaces i.e. auditoriums.
  • Both schools should be equal. Both need to have an auditorium.
  • Both schools MUST have auditoriums.
  • Both schools must be equal in terms of spaces such as auditoriums, media centers, etc.
  • Adding a voice to the call for equal inclusion. Of design components between the 2 schools. Different exterior design to match neighborhood? Sure. But same amenities for both.
  • Must have theatre/auditorium. Music & performing arts are a strategic advantage of our schools. Must look historic outside – nothing modern. Must have equal facilities/spaces across the 2 schools.

Program/Accessibility

  • Strongly consider having an upper and lower middle school (grades 5-6 in one, 7-8 in another.
  • Separate Auditorium, cafeteria, gymnasium. True science rooms. Shop
  • Bigger classrooms and more technology
  • Separate: Auditorium, Cafeteria & Gymnasium
  • If you are obtaining staff/ educator interior design input, you will know that Roxboro’s gym behind the auditorium is absurd and an actual auditorium/performance space is a crucial improvement. Furthermore, currently, Roxboro musical departments are completely unreasonable remote from the auditorium/performance space. And music spaces should not be too close to academics areas.
  • The only image of an interior school space was referred to as a “21st Century Environment” but it looked exactly like a 1970 environment. Open space, carpet, even bean bag chairs. How will this be any more successful than it was 40 years ago? #1 Align facilities to education program.
  • Hope we have kitchens with the equipment that will all real dishes to be used daily and washed vs. disposable.
  • Inclusion of Home Economics spaces (Kitchen/sewing rooms) and wood/machines shops to open up the full range of learning options to all of our students at the middle school level.
  • We need auditoriums in our middle schools with stages. We need libraries in each school. We would like kitchens in our buildings. Art rooms, music rooms, science classrooms with the capability to conduct actual science experiments. Gender neutral bathrooms. Gyms in all schools. Schools which kids can use.
  • We NEED (not want) library/media center, walls for class rooms, auditoriums, art rooms, music rooms – vocal & instrumental, science rooms, gym, kitchen for students, gender neutral bathrooms, cafeteria.
  • Move Monticello back from street. Maintain auditorium
  • Auditorium/theatre space, library, gymnasium, art studio, music room, science lab (chemical & natural sciences), green house. Community signoff to catch bad construction. Not a multipurpose “gymatorium”
  • Traditional building with glass wall. Save Roxboro’s front door, pillars and auditoriums.
  • ADA requirements/accessibility.
  • Can we try for LEED Gold instead of LEED Silver?
  • Bigger and real study hall.
  • How is performing arts practice equipment moved between practice spaces and auditorium?

Auditoriums

  • The auditorium should be preserved. Acoustical design is different from any other space.
  • Central important space allows for all types of formal assemblies, lectures, award ceremonies, etc.
  • Since state won’t match any funding for auditorium you MUST keep existing theater and do whatever you want to the rest of the building.
  • For Roxboro: Add music wing behind theater, add sound proof wall up stage and knock down old gym. Make sure to add loading door to stage.
  • Keep the auditorium, non-negotiable.
  • Access to a dedicated performing arts space is a critical part of our students’ education. Multipurpose space are simply inadequate for providing a first class arts education. An equally critical design element is providing properly sized acoustically adequate music teaching space.
  • We must have auditoriums in our middle schools – as performing and community gathering spaces. I do not think they have to be the historic spaces – that can be new – but they should accommodate the entire school community.
  • It is critically important to have theater/auditorium space. These spaces are necessary as the arts are so essential as part of the curriculum. This space also serves as community gathering space.
  • From the intro: Priority #1 is “Align facilities to educational program.” The performing arts are a core strength of the CHUH school district, with national recognition and community connections. Please do not even consider options that do not include performing art spaces, including auditoriums, in each building.
  • By all means: retain an auditorium. It is an educational space. (I stumped for the CH-UH bond issue with the understanding that historical space and design would be preserved.) The middle school must be seen as a community resource. A performance/meeting space is central to the concept.
  • An auditorium is part of the academic requirements.
  • The community engages with our buildings in the auditoriums and gyms. Auditoriums need to be welcoming, comfortable and used as much as possible by the school and by residents. Not an option to consider excluding formal performance spaces or moving students to high school for shows. Consider using auditorium as instructional space – stage front/back, sound, lighting, visual sight lines = professional performance space = STEM.
  • It is absolutely crucial in a district such as ours in CH-UH, with a huge value on the arts, that an auditorium must be included in the design, not just a gym that can be “altered” for performances, concerts, community gatherings, etc. Eliminating auditoriums in unacceptable to the taxpayers of this community. Also these buildings should be designed with respect to the fact that many students walk/bike to school. Music is academic in nature in this district, but auditoriums are main gathering spaces for the community also.
  • Vital design components: historical blend with our neighborhoods (existing façade and blended new.), impact on traffic flows (less congestions), inclusion of auditorium, performance space, art creation (community and educational values!!) in addition to a multipurpose/lecture space!
  • Auditoriums at the middle schools are a required educational component in this district! A must! Our children need beautiful dedicated performance and community gathering spaces. This communicates a message about the values of our community in a way a “multi-purpose” room cannot.
  • Both middle schools must have an auditorium.
  • Design MUST include an auditorium, we are “Home to the Arts.”
  • This is an art based community.
  • Auditoriums are important, you wouldn’t not build a gym so why would we not build an auditorium? How is the auditorium accessible to the community?
  • It is very important to have performance/auditorium space in new building. Those spaces in both buildings are very valuable to the community.

Renovation vs. Demolition

  • There is no excuse to repeating the mistakes of the 1970s. Why preserve the 1970s spaces at Monticello? They are terrible.
  • Keep and renovate original building. Additions in the same style. Keep auditorium. No open concept classrooms. Design decision should be community driven, not administrative.
  • I think that the entire original buildings should be retained. The additions should be demolished and the historic buildings could be gutted (like at Heights High). The district already demolished historic buildings in 1975.
  • In the first phase of this process, we decided that we would renovate our buildings – rather than tear down and build new. The exception was Boulevard Elementary, which was torn down in the 1970s and built new and done so horribly, that we will have to do it again now. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the 1970s. This process seems like a bait and switch.

New Construction

  • We can get architecture that is appropriate and meets our educational and community needs perhaps more cost effectively with new construction than renovation. Open to more modern, large volumes spaces with natural light.
  • Substance over style!! Function over form!!
  • Despite what community voted for regarding: Renovations. I think it’s really important for the administration to allow the community to be fully informed regarding costs of options – new vs. old construction vs. hybrid and not repeat mistakes of high school project (community wasn’t widely informed and invited to comment on implications of added costs to keep old building and all we’d have to sacrifice because of that.
  • Among the options considered by the architects, I am interested in the cost comparison of a d0078 centrally located school vs. rebuilding two middle school buildings.

Facade

  • Like traditional façade and traditional windows. Form should follow function.
  • If it comes down to cost save money by not keeping historical building (just façade). Put that money into an auditorium! And sustainability!
  • Preserving the existing façade and auditoriums is very important. The building should be respectful of the community.
  • First – do no harm. Second value is respect the neighborhood context. Our middle schools escaped the harm of previous renovations where additions were added to the front facades. They remain beautiful, symmetrical buildings in the classical style. Let’s not muck them up now.
  • The compromise at the high school, which balances the preservation of the historic façade with 21st century spaces, is an excellent model. Why isn’t this an option?
  • Maintain front facades, which lead into auditoriums.
  • There are ways we can maintain historic facades and still create new modern spaces that give us the spaces we need.
  • Consider safety and security when I comes to windows and doors and building access.

Site/Access/Entry

  • Roxboro Middle sits next to Roxboro Elementary to the two schools should be considered together – both in composition and in regard to traffic flow. No one lives in the ravine south of the buildings, everyone is accessing them from the north. I don’t see this consideration in any of the designs. The community would like to access the buildings from the front door.
  • The options for traffic patterns at Monticello are crazy. Any drop off on Monticello Blvd is misguided.
  • Parking lots should be behind the building.
  • We want to encourage walking and biking.
  • Traditional looking façade. Common sense car/pedestrian approach to building.
  • Roxboro Middle school is a student drop off and parking nightmare. Talking exteriors of building not so important as access/utility.
  • Community would like to be able to vote by walking up to the school and entering the front door. Right now we enter through the service entrance by the dumpsters. We want to feel proud of our community and our schools when we vote.
  • Love idea of maximizing out door learning spaces & sustainable features – grey water, learning gardens (vegetable, food, pollination, rain, native)
  • Lots of bike parking (covered if possible).
  • Parent/Volunteer parking that is close to the building.
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