(Riverton, Wyo.) – If all goes well, Riverton’s newest elementary school could be ready as soon as the fall of 2016. Fremont County School District #25 Superintendent Terry Snyder told the school board that date could be met if a good prototype school could be found, the legislature cooperates and funds the building, and the weather cooperates.

In a report to the trustees Tuesday night, Snyder reported that the district had closed on a 16+ acre site on January 2 and held a pre-bid meeting with contractors at the site last week. The district purchased the parcel on West Monroe from the Gard family. The site sits opposite from Rein Park.

“This is a good location for an elementary school, we wanted to separate our buildings more than they are now and this will serve the southwest portion of the city, “ he said. “We wanted the (geographic) separation of the building to reduce traffic congestion like we have now and to serve different parts of town.

FCSD#25 B&W logoBid proposals are expected to arrive at the Central Office by Thursday of this week. “We anticipate receiving about eight proposals,” Snyder said. One the bids come in, a committee will review them “and try to narrow them down to a manageable number and then do on site visits.”

The finalists will suggest “prototype” buildings that they feel would meet the district’s needs, and then those buildings would be visited. By using a prototype, the district expects to save 6 to 9 months because plans would already exist. Snyder said some alterations of the plans may be made to meet local needs, but by using existing plans the district could accelerate the process. “We want the building to be community friendly and organizational friendly,” he said. He also said they want to inspect the quality of the individual contractor’s work “because this building will be here 50 to 60 years.

Site visits would be planned the last week of January. The committee would meet and interview the short list of contractors on Feb. 5th and bring those recommendations to the board on Feb. 11th for action. The recommended contractor would then be presented to the School Facilities Department at their meeting on the 19th for approval. Then the district would have to receive the funding from state legislature. The construction is expected to take about two years.

Whether the completion date is the fall of 2016 or the spring of 2017, the district will have four K-3 schools and Rendezvous Elementary would return to a building housing grades 4 and 5.

“We think if we can find a prototype and save that time, we could open in the fall of 2016, but that would be contingent on whether we find a school we like, availability of materials, weather and such,” Snyder said. “We need the space, we need the classrooms as soon as we can get them.”

Snyder also said site work at the parcel could begin this summer, especially with the extension of West Monroe west to Major and with Major north to Riverview by putting in curbs and sidewalks, and by covering two drainage ditches on two sides of the site. The footprint of the building would be needed before site compaction and other site preparation could begin. Snyder said the district wants to place the new school on the southern end of the property for the benefit of Rein Park and the School with access and traffic flow.