Private primary school considers expansion | SteamboatToday.com

Private primary school considers expansion

Lowell Whiteman looks to build gymnasium on Pine Street, elevated walkway for safety of students

The brick building at 819 Pine St. is among five small structures that could be removed if Lowell Whiteman Primary School officials decide to expand.

— The board of directors of the nonprofit Lowell Whiteman Primary School has entered the city planning process with a tentative proposal to construct a gymnasium/multi-purpose building at its downtown campus.

Board Chairman Alan Keeffe said the school has not decided exactly what it hopes to build or even whether it will build. However, it has entered the city’s pre-application process to gauge planners’ reactions to expanding on two city lots that front on Pine Street. The site is immediately across an alley and to the rear of the school’s current building at 818 Oak Street.

“One of the primary motivations is for the gym,” Keeffe said. However, he said members of the school community, including staff and parents of students, would be consulted to determine what else they think would meet the needs of the school.

The primary school has an enrollment of 60. The existing school was built on land initially owned by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. However, the school purchased 819 and 825 Pine Street, where an expansion was built in 1993. Five small buildings, including several residences, occupy the two lots. Although no decision has been made, Keeffe said, it’s safe to presume they would be removed to make way for an expansion.

Hand-drawn plans submitted to the city by a Tallahassee, Fla., architectural firm suggest the potential to build as much as four classrooms on a second, or mezzanine, level above the gym. Keeffe emphasized that no decision has been made to add classrooms.

However, he confirmed the school would like to explore the possibility of building an elevated walkway over the alley for the safety of students.

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The LWPS proposal is so new to the city process that no public meetings on the subject have been scheduled.

Keeffe said that after obtaining feedback from city planners, the board would engage its constituents and only then undertake a capital campaign to fund the project.