TIPP CITY — On Wednesday night, the Tipp City school district held a community forum to display preliminary plans for the exterior of the proposed prekindergarten through third grade building.
“We’re excited to show it to you and get your feedback,” architect Mike Ruetschle said.
At the meeting, Ruetschle told the community members that his firm, during the design process, consulted the Tippecanoe Historical Society and visited their museum to see pictures of old school buildings.
The proposed exterior plans reflect details from those older school buildings, including the Castle, built in the 1890s, and Tipp Central, built in 1916.
The two story, red brick building would have brickwork details near the roof that recall similar brickwork on the exterior of the Castle. Like that building, which was demolished in the 1960s, the new building would have a grand entry with arches that also echo some of the Castle details, Ruetschle said.
The proposed new building would also have some elements inspired by Tipp Central, which still stands on the Broadway site. The plan is to preserve or recreate the stone medallions that decorate the outside of Tipp Central, which read “Education” and “Character.”
The new school would be a symmetrical building with an entrance centered on the intersection of Broadway and Sixth Street.
The proposed site plan, which has been shown at previous school board meetings, also features added parking and a separate gym, cafeteria and auditorium building connected to the main school by an enclosed hallway.
After his presentation, Ruetschle took questions from the meeting attendees, on topics including the lifespan of the building and where students will be dropped off for school.
According to Ruetschle, the new building will have a lifespan of about 75 years and has been designed to be flexible, regarding future renovations and technology.
One resident asked if the district is considering renaming the school, which superintendent Gretta Kumpf confirmed.
Because the new building will house prekindergarten through third grade students — a combination of both Broadway and Nevin Coppock — the district is considering a name change, Kumpf said. The new building could be called Tippecanoe Elementary School, like the middle school and the high school.
The district will ask voters to support a 3.98 mill bond issue in March. This bond issue would generate about $30 million to build a new prekindergarten through third grade building on the current Broadway Elementary School site.
This would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $139 a year. The interest rate for the 37 year bond would be 4.4 percent, Ruetschle said.
If the levy passes, the buildings currently on the Broadway site would be demolished over the summer of 2016. Modular classrooms would also be installed outside L.T. Ball. that summer.
Construction would likely take two years, Ruetschle said, and the district could move into the new building by the summer of 2018. As the process continues, the district and the architects are planning to continue meeting with the community, Ruetschle said.