Architects are still working under limitations as they finish planning the $3 million Irving College School expansion.
“The site is very constraining,” said Derrick Clemow of Upland Design during a recent briefing for the Warren County Board of Education. “We are working with a moving target.”
The moving target Clemow referred to is soil around the planned building site. A plan to buy adjoining land to provide more area in which to install lines for drainage of sewage away from the buildings fell through due to the high asking price of the property.
According to Clemow, land can change over time, meaning there is no sure way to tell what land will be suitable for the sewage lines. Health laws require a certain amount of land to be available with a facility’s sanitation system.
While the expansion itself isn’t directly impacted by the lack of potential land for drainage, the amount of students who can attend the school can be affected.
“We’re looking at 100 to 150 additional students,” Clemow said, noting that is likely the cap of how big, student population-wise, Irving College can be given its present land constraints. “But we are still investigating the sub-surface.”
Clemow’s revelation comes after it was decided to expand the present Irving College campus rather than establish a new campus closer to McMinnville, a campus that some felt could accommodate more students.
While the field lines are of a concern to developers, the archetects say they have some great ideas for the campus addition. They are continuing to meet with school staff to get their input into the layout of the new campus.
“We want to take advantage of available light, kind of like was done with the Morrison School project and make the dining room an airy-feeling area,” Clemow said, noting the present cafeteria is going to be turned into a science lab.
The Irving College project is one of three major building projects the School Board is working on this year. The others include a new field house and wellness center at Warren County High School and an update of the Bobby Ray gymnasium. The three projects have a combined price tag of $4.9 million.