Ayres provided preliminary planning services to produce recommendations on options for use of the River Falls School District’s Academy Building and subsequently was retained to design a building addition and renovations.
The planning phase involved meeting with District officials to review previous discussions and planning efforts regarding the building, review programming housed in the facility, and assess options for meeting those programming needs if all or part of the building were sold to a developer. Options assessed included the following:
Leasing the 1991 portion of the building from the developer for 15 years and then either renovating half of the gym for about 10,000 square feet of classroom space for the Montessori program or adding on to the west side of the 1991 portion and keeping the existing gym space.
Adding 20,000 to 25,000 square feet on to Greenwood Elementary for Montessori and renovating the 1991 portion of the Academy Building for the Renaissance program.
Reviewing options for a separate 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot Montessori location, possibly including space for the Renaissance program.
Ayres provided diagrammatic plans of the proposed options and presented the ideas at committee and school board meetings.
The subsequent design project consists of a one-story addition to the west side of the 1991 portion of the building, as well as minor remodeling of limited classroom portions of the 1991 section. The addition includes administrative offices, a media center, three classrooms, restrooms, and a kitchen. Elevator replacement and fire alarm upgrades will be completed.