Welcoming all for another 100 years!

The Arguments

St. Paul Public Schools is planning to invest over $20 million dollars in the two Linwood Monroe Arts Plus campus buildings as part of its Facilities Master Plan. They are going to reconfigure the Upper (Monroe) campus and build a new classroom wing and cafeteria at the Lower (Linwood) campus. This will give the following features to the school:

1.    21ST CENTURY BUILDINGS AT BOTH CAMPUSES

a.    Right-size Classrooms: Currently, all classrooms at Linwood campus are undersized and some Monroe campus classrooms are less than half the size they should be. With the renovation, all classrooms will be “right-sized” so they are large enough to meet SPPS standards and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) guidelines. This means all teachers will have room for adult-sized desks in their rooms, and everyone will have room to move around easily.

 

b.    Breakout Rooms: At this time, most one-on-one and small group instruction occurs in the hallways where distractions are abundant. The renovation will create appropriate breakout rooms.

f.    Updated Use of Existing Footprint at Monroe: Better layout at Monroe campus will make it easier for everyone to find where they are going. Addition of a second, centrally located elevator will increase ADA accessibility.

 

g.    Repurposing the Monroe Atrium Space: By placing creative programming around the atrium [at the Monroe campus] and relocating classrooms that are currently easily disrupted by atrium noise, the atrium space will become a new “Creative Core” for our arts-focused school.

 

h.    Bonus! Both buildings will group classrooms by age group and the arts curriculum will be highlighted.

 

2.    HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE FACILITIES

a.    Accessible Bathrooms: Currently, the Linwood campus has a step up into most bathrooms, making them inaccessible to people with physical impairments. Most kids must go all the way down to first floor just to use the bathroom. The renovation would ensure people have accessible bathrooms on every floor at the Linwood campus.

c.    Separate Cafeteria at Linwood: At present, the cafeteria space serves triple duty as a cafeteria, auditorium, and gym, meaning kids don’t have a place to play when the weather is bad because the space must be used as a cafeteria. Some kids eat lunch too early or too late because the space is so small. The renovation will correct this by building a new cafeteria, so the current space can be used as a dedicated gym and auditorium (important for an arts school!)

 

d.    Updated HVAC: Currently 9 classrooms at Linwood campus face south and students struggle to learn in the extreme heat. Likewise, some Linwood campus classrooms are so poorly insulated that students must wear their coats inside during the winter to stay warm. The new addition

b.    Equal Access to Performance Space: The stage at Linwood campus is only accessible by a narrow stairwell. The renovation will ensure the stage is accessible to all, which means that kids in wheelchairs will be able to join their classmates on stage.

 

c.    Monroe Gyms: The Monroe campus dance studio (aka “little gym”) is on a ‘half’ level due to multiple additions over the years and is only accessible by stairs. The renovation will remedy the issues with ‘half’ levels so gyms at Monroe campus are accessible to all.

 

3.    INCREASED AND BETTER PLAY SPACE FOR YOUNGER KIDS

a.    Improved Outdoor Layout at Linwood: By renovating the Linwood campus outdoor play areas, the space will include a bigger area with playground equipment, an U8-size soccer field, and a functional basketball court.

 

b.    New, Outdoor, Age-Appropriate Play Space: Thanks to KaBoom, the MN Vikings, and Toro Company, a new playground was donated and built at

will include classrooms that face west or north and updated mechanicals mean no more scorching or frigid classrooms. The renovation would also provide teachers with sinks in their rooms, a necessity when breakfast is served inside the classroom.

 

e.    Developmentally Appropriate Separation of Students by Grade Level: After the renovation, Pre-K through 4th graders will be in the same building. No more confused Pre-K kids who don’t understand that there are two buildings. No more difficult transitions for 4th graders who aren’t ready for a middle school environment. Teachers will be able to share their limited resources and effectively collaborate with grade levels close to their own (Pre-K with Kindergarteners, 3rd graders with 4th graders).

the Linwood campus in Spring 2016 for the youngest kids in front of the school, which includes a hard court area and a grassy area for running around.

 

c.    Indoor Recess in Bad Weather: The new separate cafeteria at the Linwood campus means that the gym/auditorium can be used for indoor recess! No more iPad time or movies when the kids have to stay inside for recess.

 

d.    MORE PLAY SPACE: As a result of these changes, the amount of dedicated play space for students at the school will grow by more than 1,000 square feet!