With a desire to consolidate multiple off-site programs onto one campus, and the opportunity to save $1 million in annual rent costs, leaders of the Dubuque Community School District moved forward with plans to construct a $5.5 million addition to its Alta Vista Alternative Learning Center Campus.
With a change in the state reimbursement for the school district related to the campus and the students, the investment in an addition made financial sense to put the dollars previously spent on rent into their own building.
One of the goals of the project was to provide a location that could accommodate approximately 125 to 150 students. The three-story addition included construction of 16 additional classrooms, an art classroom, new secured administration entry and office area for the addition, as well as a new half court gymnasium to be utilized by both the current building as well as the addition. Minor renovations to the existing building, including incorporating the existing building’s elevator lobby, as well as providing a fire sprinkler system throughout.
The building serves two student populations that need to remain separate, while sharing a central kitchen. The design allowed for several small cafeteria spaces with two separate serving lines, both being served by a single prep kitchen.
Classroom spaces had specific requirements for keeping spaces small for student groups to avoid potential conflicts. The classrooms were designed to house no more than eight students and four staff members. The new spaces provide both staff and students areas to regroup or deescalate. Another challenge of the project was the tight site. An additional parking lot was added along with the reconstruction of an existing parking lot. The new parking lot incorporated the use of pervious concrete pavement to meet the stormwater management requirements of the site. This is the first use of this type of pavement on any of the Dubuque Community School District’s 17 sites.
The Alta Vista addition now serves students enrolled in the Cornerstone Academy, including both middle- and high-school levels. The new program was simultaneously launched with the fall 2019 opening of the new addition.