Nearly 100 participants help build vision of school building of the future in Mehlville

Nearly 100 community members, parents and administrators helped build a vision of the school building of the future in the Mehlville School District during the first of three collaborative building-level meetings called charettes.

The charettes are being conducted as part of the district’s long-range planning process, COMPASS — Charting the Oakville-Mehlville Path to Advance Successful Schools.

“At the facilities meeting, COMPASS participants clearly identified key issues that should be part of and found within their schools to provide for the future education of our community’s children,” Dwight Dickinson of Dickinson Hussman Architects stated in a district news release. “This process is simply a continuation of the direction received from the community at that meeting.”

Divided into teams by school and with the St. John gymnasium walls lined in blue-prints, COMPASS consensus points and results from a principal survey, the elementary-level participants got to work last week on three tasks.

The first task was brainstorming about such topics as: What works well and what does not work well with their current building and how can it be made better for student learning? Participants then looked at a blueprint of their building and drew where they thought rooms such as the library, gymnasium and special classrooms should be located.

The final activity was to take the new rooms they had established and draw what they thought those rooms should look like.

“These activities helped us work to make sure our facilities better meet the needs of students now and in the future especially in areas such as technology,” second-grade teacher Sue Morton stated in the release.

The architects will take the information gathered at the charettes, along with the COMPASS consensus points, and transform them into feasible improvements for COMPASS participants to review during the recommendations phase of the process.