The Paradise school consists of the three story, red brick classroom building, built in 1910, and the nearby gym, constructed in the 1960’s. The classroom building is in remarkably good condition for a century-old structure. Built upon a solid foundation, the red brick exterior of the classroom building remains well-mortared and straight. The gym, a wood framed structure, is a functional though less aesthetic facility. Both structures share two important limitations. First, they both fail to provide ADA access. The bathrooms in both buildings are dated, sized for young children, and
In recent years, the School District Trustees have completed important updates and maintenance to the school buildings.
The planned solution to the ADA-access problem and other constraints is the construction of an entrance foyer between the classroom and gym buildings. Occupying a footprint of at least 450 square feet, it will provide:
Modern, ADA-compliant bathrooms, a stairway and elevators to all classroom levels.are not ABA-compliant. Additionally, the classroom building has stairs-only access to the basement and second floor. Second, both structures are heated with an ancient fuel oil boiler that, in the school’s last year of operation, cost $16,000 to operate. The following discusses how we plan to address these and other capital needs for the facility. Preliminarily, we review recent improvements complete by the School District. The next page provides some conceptual renderings on how a foyer addition might unify the main building and gym.
The long-term financial feasibility of the repurposed school will require a significant reduction in heating costs. Project pro-ponents will be asking for energy audits and recommendations from local utilities and state and federal energy agencies. Possible approaches to this problem include:
• More efficient boiler for existing hot water system.
• Distributed heating units throughout buildings (e.g., elec-tric, propane).
• Augmentation through alternative energy sources (e.g., so-lar, wind).
Other acquisitions and improvements will be necessary before the facility can begin initial service as a community, visitors’ center, and arts center. These improvements include furniture throughout, A-V equipment for meetings, easels and other equipment for the art studios, displays for historical exhibits, and stage improvements and light and sound equipment for performances in the gym.
The school site can also accommodate other community needs and improvements. The Paradise Rural Fire District has ex-pressed interest in a small firehouse on the site. Such a project would contribute to improved access to the school site.
The school playground has a sweeping overlook of the Clark Fork River. Project proponents envision an outdoor amphithea-ter for music and stage events. The open-air design would also serve as a veterans’ memorial with inscriptions and plaques incorporated into the amphitheater steps and retaining walls.