FORT RUCKER, Ala. — Plans to replace Fort Rucker Elementary School — part of the Fort Rucker Army Base — are underway now that Orlando, Fla.-based SchenkelShultz has been selected as the project’s architect. SchenkelShultz was awarded the 133,542-square-foot project under the firm’s Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District.
Two schools are currently located on Fort Rucker: a primary school serving pre-kindergarten through first grade and an elementary school serving second through sixth grades. The new facility would consolidate these two schools into one elementary school located on the same site. This new, larger school would comply with current building codes and help bring the school up to 21st century educational standards.
The current Fort Rucker Elementary School was built in 1963 and the Fort Rucker Primary School was built in 1972, according to an environmental assessment prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both schools have an Extended Forecast Condition Index (EFCI) Q rating of Q4 “Failing.” This means replacing both facilities would be more cost-efficient in the long term than paying steep maintenance and repair costs. For instance, most of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in both schools are near the end of their operational life.
The new facility will feature the latest technologies as well as academic neighborhoods, learning studios and staff collaboration areas. Learning-impaired classrooms, flex labs, commons, performance and recreation spaces, administrative offices and storage areas will also be included as well as an art room, music suite, therapy classroom, food service area and kitchen, guidance counseling center, special education office, professional development center and health services area. The school will also incorporate movable furniture to better accommodate the planned learning studios. These integrative instruction spaces open into collaborative learning hubs and will replace traditional classrooms.
Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2018, the new school is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.