K-12 business development specialist for DLR Group Troy Wade opened discussion by summarizing statistics from a previous meeting with USD 373 teachers and principals during Wednesday night's bond advisory task force meeting at the McKinley Administration Building.

Wade said the recent teacher in-service day served as an excellent opportunity for his group to gather information from teachers and staff.

Some of that information, which was based on a morning group of 130 to 140 K-12 teachers and staff, as well as an afternoon group of 180 to 190 K-12 teachers and staff, was presented to the task force before the task force participated in a puzzle exercise – to formulate four school upgrade/renovation options.

While all of the considered teachers and staff teach within USD 373, Wade said 41 percent of them lived outside of the school district and would not have been subject to the additional taxes behind school renovations and upgrades.

Nonetheless, Wade said their input had a place within the overall discussion of funding improvements to USD 373 schools.

DLR Group also presented to the group on what forms school renovation has taken in other areas of the country– versus completely rebuilding.

The idea of the presentation was to give participants a visualization of what could be done in USD 373 schools.

To that end, DLR Group showed a series of images of planned renovations to other schools, such as Ottawa and Salina, which are aiming to create a new teaching environment through re-envisioning the use of their space.

DLR Group's Joe Bredenbach also shared a number of other architectural possibilities, such as different interior design configurations, adding variety and function to seating and surfaces, use of transparency and natural light, use of color, collaboration spaces and communal tables.

Bredenbach also said furniture in a lot of modern classroom renovations can be a mixture of traditional and non-traditional (even repurposed) furniture.

After the presentation, task force members were asked (in groups) to select an ideal configuration from a number of puzzle pieces representing a number of the options for building renovations, add-ons, K5/K4 classification options and more.

There were also budgeted costs on the puzzle pieces, which were considered within the groups before being positioned on white poster boards.

Wade said these puzzle configurations were for the sake of brainstorming and no formal decisions were being made based upon them. He also said the numbers calculated in the puzzle exercise were budgeted and could be subject to change after the task force revisits their three formulated options in a future meeting.