Architect to study proposals for Elementary School

The South Butler school board has authorized the architectural firm of Burt Hill Kosar Rittleman and Associates to explore two plans for repair and possible renovation of the closed Winfield Elementary School.

The 60-year-old school has been closed since August when structural problems in the roof were discovered during routine patching work.

Under the first plan to be studied, the architects will consider the installation of steel beams and other means of shoring up the building.

Board member Brian Hartle asked the firm to also determine what would be needed to renovate the entire roof, and what would be involved in repairing only the wing of the building with the most extensive structural problems.

Under the second plan, the firm would study the renovation of the entire school with allowance for additional classrooms in anticipation of population growth in the district.

The architects also have been told to analyze whether construction of a new elementary school building would be more feasible.

The firm has six weeks to complete the studies.

Rob Pillar, a representative of Burt Hill, said that while the plan to install steel beams was more labor intensive and involved a longer construction time, the result would provide more school design options, the ability to alter the shape of the roof and the ability to increase classroom size from the present 640 square feet to the state recommended 660 square feet.

Pillar said state reimbursement money was available for a combination of new construction and renovation, but that no money was available for only repairs.

Jeff Graham was the only board member voting against the plans to be studied. Board President Walter Robb abstained from voting.

Due to the forced closure of Winfield Elementary, kindergarten students from the school meet in St. Joseph Church in Cabot, while elementary students attend classes in Zion Methodist Church in Sarver.