At least that is the opinion of Keith Blackburn with HTK Architects.
, at the request of Abilene USD 435 Board of Education, did a preliminary survey of the district's five schools.
findings at the regular board meeting last Monday.
"A building is a tool just like any other tool and we want to make sure it is the best tool that we can have," Blackburn
"Now that we have the first step out of the way, it is going to go quicker," Blackburn
said of the potential fixes.
A lot of it is reapportioning and not developing new space," he
said. (See: Abilene schools, page 8) Abilene schools (Continued from pae 1) He
said kindergarten and first grade classrooms are generally 1,000 square feet per classroom, based on population.
"That's just a standard we've developed over the years, based on doing what we are doing now," he
told the board.
"The library at Kennedy is basically a standard classroom size.
Kennedy has the biggest classrooms in the district and those are generally right-sized classrooms until we add in MTSS.
"One thing I noticed when I talked to the principals of the elementary schools, one of the concerns that they have is that you have the kitchen adjacent to the gymnasium," he
"They end up using the gymnasium for a lunch room.
It's always a preference to have a cafeteria and a kitchen.
It makes it very difficult for a principal to schedule classes when a good part of their day is lunch and they can't use that room.
discussed MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) with principals, which breaks bigger spaces into smaller spaces.
MTSS is a time where all students at a grade level are involved in a group with a staff member somewhere at the same time, said McKinley principal Tom Schwartz.
"So let's say we are doing third grade MTSS tier time," he
said space for administration is also a problem as most schools, including Abilene.
"As programs expand, it starts taking up administration space," he
"And what happens is, nobody wants to ask for administration space and you end up incorporating that administration space and keep cutting it down," he
Another area of concern for Blackburn
was security issues.
"You can't just open a door and let everyone walk in.
Everybody has to go to the office," he
"The way it is now, you can walk in (to the Middle School) and nobody would know you are there.
said the music and art rooms at McKinley are considerably small.
"I joke with the principals that speech usually gets the room left over," he
"To recreate that elsewhere would be extremely expensive," Blackburn
"There is a lot of information here," Blackburn
"It's a start.