04/12/13 Plans for the opening of the Innovation Academy School (New Tech) that will be housed at Riverside Intermediate and Lincoln Junior High are continuing. At the Plymouth School Board meeting on April 2, the Board members voted unanimously to sign a contract with architects Barton-Coe-Vilamaa on the renovations projects at both buildings. Representing Barton-Coe-Vilamaa was Brian Bohlender.
Once the contract was approved, Bohlender reported on bids for the project that had been generated on March 26. According to Bohlender, eight contractors bid on the project. Gibson-Lewis was awarded the bid at $795,355 as the low bidder. The high bid was $959,000. Gibson-Lewis was awarded the unified bid for the entire project.
The project had been budgeted at $850,000.
The project entails, in part, converting the existing media centers at both schools into classroom space. Renovations are expected to be completed by August of 2013 to allow the use of the spaces for the start of the 2013-14 school year.
According to Amy Gerard, Director of Project Based Learning (PBL)for grades K-8, Riverside and Lincoln Junior High will each have 200 students starting in the fall of this year. Gerard said, “We currently have only four spots left in grade 6 and additional names on a waiting list.” Gerard said she would still encourage parents who are interested in PBL to apply. She said, “Anything can happen over the summer.”
The Weidner School of Inquiry housed within Plymouth High School has one spot left for the fall enrollment. Those 100 or so students currently in the school will return and 100 freshman will be added.
Director of the Weidner School of Inquiry, Ken Olson, said they had hoped to move into the renovated space after spring break, but there was a delay on one window. He said, “We don’t want to have students in the area during the installation of a window.”
Gerard said, “We are hoping the student population of PBL will be the same as the demographics of the school corporation.” She said, “These are schools of parental choice.” The Plymouth School Corporation offers both traditional and project based classes, according to Gerard.
Carol Anders Correspondent