How we spent our summer vacation--making schools work better for students

How we spent our summer vacation--making schools work better for students
Randy Barber

In August, students and teachers across the district returned to school buildings that look, feel and perform better thanks to millions of dollars of renovation provided by BVSD taxpayers. BVSD completed $75 million of work on 14 different projects, improving learning environments and extending the useful life of buildings in a variety of ways. 

The district expanded its capacity to give our youngest learners a strong start with new full-day kindergarten and preschool classrooms in elementary schools. 

“We’ve been constructing classrooms to prepare for full-day kindergarten since the start of the bond program,” explained Rob Price, BVSD Assistant Superintendent of Operational Services. “That work gave us a solid head start on making the transition this year.” 

Air conditioning was installed at five schools, moving forward the Board’s desire to eventually air-condition all schools. 

“We are hearing from teachers in schools with new air conditioning about what a difference it makes,” said Price. 

In February, the board voiced its support for using some unallocated bond funds to install air conditioning in schools without. While the district is moving forward with planning for installing air conditioning to all schools, additional funding will be required to make it happen. 

Playgrounds got a big boost of fun with new equipment, surface material, and better ADA accessibility. 

Other improvements such as wiring, fire safety, and communications upgrades, are less obvious, but important to the functionality of the buildings. New roofs, exterior windows, and doors, lighting upgrades, and HVAC system replacements will improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Remodeled front entrances and cross corridor partitions will control access to schools, boosting security. Audio enhancement systems in all learning spaces will help students and teachers hear each other better. At most schools, restrooms were refreshed with new paint, tile, and fixtures and improved accessibility. New carpet, flooring, paint, provide a welcome refresh to many areas. 

The district continued to bring BVSD’s Innovation Guiding Principles to life with renovations to create innovative learning environments. Angevine Middle School, and Heatherwood and Lafayette elementary schools renovated central areas of the school to create spaces that support a  variety of learning activities such as small group interaction and collaboration, presentation spaces, individual reflection. Similarly, Horizons K-8, and Coal Creek, Superior, Mesa, and Louisville elementary schools invested their Innovation funding to rethink their libraries or cafeterias to make them more inviting and expand student use of the spaces throughout the day. Students in Nederland will be able to get “hands-on” with their learning in new maker spaces. New furniture in all schools lets students and teachers get comfortable and reconfigure learning spaces as needed throughout the day. 

Learn more about how BVSD is making schools work better for students at bond.bvsd.org
 


 

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