Design work has begun on a proposed middle school in Baxter.
Kevin Donnay, of Widseth, Smith and Nolting, shared two concept plans of the school with the Brainerd School Board Monday. Donnay said the plans are not complete and more details are needed.
The proposed $47.2 million school is the majority share of the district's $59.9 million bond referendum in March.
The school would be constructed on the school district's 181 acres in Baxter between County Road 48, Mountain Ash Drive and Mapleton Road. The fifth- through eighth-grade school, which would host 550 students per grade, would include about 330,000 square feet.
The architectural concepts have each grade separated by pods to minimize the younger students from socializing with the older crowd. The pods will be two stories high.
The school will have a core area that will allow the public to use the facility. The core includes a library, gymnasium, a multi-purpose room, student service area and an administration area. A cafeteria and auditorium also would be constructed in this area.
Donnay said both concepts allow room for future construction of a high school or an elementary building.
One concept has the school built on the eastern portion of the property on 41 acres. This concept includes two playground areas for the fifth- and sixth-graders, two outdoor activity areas for the upper two grades, staff parking and a student pick-up site.
The administration area of this idea also allows staff to monitor people coming in and out of the school in the front and side entrances.
Donnay said when drawing up the concept plan and talking with Baxter officials, the firm aligned a road that will run to the west of the school and connect with County Road 48 opposite of Knollwood Drive.
The second concept has the school on 40 acres on the west side of the property along Mountain Ash Drive. Donnay said the firm is working around the environmental wetland areas that are known on this section of property.
This concept plan has each grade at opposite sides of each other with the core facilities in the center. A playground area will be shared with the fifth- and sixth-graders and an activity area will be shared with the students in seventh- and eighth-grade.
This concept has the practice fields to the north of the property and allows green space to the south of the proposed school.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.