Sunset Ridge

School District 29

Programming Phase
During the "Programming Phase" of the project (spring 2015-fall 2015), architects from Wight + Co. collected input from staff, students and community members regarding specific educational design priorities and features. They conducted open house meetings and small group interviews, and reviewed survey data. Priorities identified included enhancing student safety, improving instructional areas, space for sports and physical education activities, performing arts facilities, green space, traffic flow, water detention, historic preservation, and environmental sustainability.
Midway through the Programming Phase, in July 2015, the District 29 Board of Education considered various site layout (e.g., building, fields, driveways) options, reviewed alternative designs for auditorium space, discussed historical preservation, and planned for the project financing. The Board directed Wight + Co. to pursue the following directions: 
1. Site Layout: Plan the building structure to occupy the eastern portion of the property, with field /playground space on the western portion of the property. Include access from both Willow Road and Sunset Ridge Road. Design green space on the east edge of the property as an educational tool, effective water management system, and visual separation from neighbors. Investigate requests to construct a right turn lane onto the property from northbound Sunset Ridge Rd.
2. Auditorium Space: Investigate option for a combination of fixed and removable seated theater to optimize utility and functionality.
3. Historical Preservation: Plan to include historical elements (e.g., fireplace, wood work, original chalkboards, artwork, photos) of the current structure into the new building. Engage stakeholders to identify what specific elements should be preserved and how to best include and honor the District's history in the new structure.
3. Financing: Proceed with the projected budget of $25M for the construction of a new Sunset Ridge School. Utilize $2M from the District's Fund Balance towards this capital project. Finance $23M over a 20-year period and utilize existing annual revenue proceeds to pay "mortgage" payments. Utilize an additional $2M from the District Fund Balance to make capital improvements at Middlefork School.
Schematic Design Phase
The "Schematic Design Phase" of the project began in the late summer/early fall of 2015. During this phase of the project, architects and the construction managers began developing and pricing initial designs for the site and building.


On September 25, 2015, representatives from Wight and Pepper presented preliminary designs for a new 4th-8th grade school within our $25M budget. The designs include a state of the art academic wing, dedicated performing arts facilities, a high school sized gymnasium, two play fields and increased parking and vehicle cuing space. 
They also presented a list of “optional” enhancements to the project that are outside the allocated budget. These include interior and exterior upgrades that would enhance the functionality, utility, and aesthetics of the building and grounds.

The next phase of the project will be to refine the designs that are within our budget, and to prioritize and seek private financial contributions to support the list of “wants” that are outside the allocated budget. 

The “District 29 Educational Foundation” has set up an account at the Northview Bank of Northfield to collect private donations toward project enhancements. Please contact Mrs. Anne Peterson (apeterson70@comcast.net) with comments or questions regarding financial contributions.