Renovation options for the Our Savior Lutheran Church property were shared with the Norfolk Public Schools board of education during its study session Monday night.
Troy Keilig and Jim Brisnehan with CMBA Architects showed board members three designs — a base renovation and then two alternatives, which would include add-ons to the building.
The base renovation would use the existing footprint to create 12 classrooms and an administration area at the front of the building. The administration area would include a secure entrance, and each classroom would come equipped with a bathroom, which is required by law for early childhood classrooms.
The building will be initially used to expand the district’s Little Panthers Preschool program, said Dr. Jami Jo Thompson, superintendent of schools. But renovations will be done keeping in mind that the building could eventually be used as an elementary school, she said.
The school district agreed last year to purchase the church property at the intersection of Norfolk Avenue and 25th Street. The congregation continues to use the facility as it prepares to move to its new location in the former Eagle Distributing building at 2420 W. Omaha Ave.
The first alternative would include a small addition to the front of the building for administration, which would free up an additional classroom and provide room for things like a sensory room and a conference room in the administration wings.
Alternative two would include the administration add-on but also additions filling in the sides of the building, which would create 17 classrooms. Depending on pricing, Keilig said this alternative could be approached two ways. Exterior walls could be constructed with the intent of finishing out the renovation at a later date, or the add-ons could be completely finished.
Each of the three renovations include two 3-year-old preschool classrooms, with the rest being for the district’s 4-year-old program. Classrooms are 1,000 square feet each and also would be connected by double doors to give teachers the option to collaborate, said Bill Robinson, associate superintendent.
The renovation project also includes reducing the existing church steeple.
Robinson said the district plans to have bid documents by May 14, with the board approving a bid for the project June 28.
Renovation would begin in September, so the building would welcome students in August 2019.
Brisnehan said the project requires an aggressive timeline, but he said the district should be facing a favorable bid climate for the renovation options it has.