The District#25 Facilities Advisory Committee stepped off the bus at the Pinedale Elementary School Monday. (FCSD#25 photo by Larry Hartwell)

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The two dozen members of a facilities advisory committee for the Riverton schools decided on a bus drive home from Pinedale last night that a prototype school could be used for a new elementary school on Riverton’s southwest side.

Last week the group toured the Rawlins Elementary School in Rawlins and Gannett Peak Elementary in Lander. On Monday, they went to see the elementary school in Pinedale. The schools were designed by the three finalist architectural firms in the running to design Riverton’s new school. By using a prototype model, the district believes it can shave six to nine months off of the construction schedule so the new school could open in the fall of 2016.

Committee members gathered in the school foyer. (FCSD25-Larry Hartwell)

The committee gathered in the foyer. (FCSD25-Larry Hartwell)

“The committee was asked to evaluate each of the three buildings we visited to see if they would match our instructional delivery needs,” Riverton Schools Superintendent Terry Snyder said Tuesday. “The group identified characteristics of each of the buildings that would be desirable. Our second priority was for the safety and security of the design.”

With those two critical framings discussed, Snyder asked the group if they could propose a prototype school. “Would any of the three be a prototype?” he asked. “The group said, yes.”

Interviews with the three finalist architectural firms, MOA Architecture of Casper (Rawlins), Plan1 Architects of Cody (Lander) and Sandstrom Associates of Utah (Pinedale) will be conducted Wednesday. Each will have 90 minutes to make a presentation and answer questions from the committee. “By the end of the day tomorrow, we hope to have a recommendation on which design firm we’ll recommend to the school board for our meeting next Tuesday night,” Snyder said. “Then we’ll take that recommendation to the School Facilities Department the following week, and by the end of February we should have an architect under contract.”

Snyder said the visit to Pinedale “was very good.” As in the other two schools visited, he said the committee indicated there would be some areas of that design that they would modify. “The committee liked all three of the buildings. By the time of tomorrow’s interviews, they will have thought out what options they would like and what we need.”

With the group captive on the school bus for the ride home, with the exception of an ice cream stop at Farson, Snyder said the committee had a chance to review all three visits.

“There is no way to replicate what you can see in person from plans or photographs,” Snyder said. “That’s why these visits were so important. And I want to commend all of those citizens who took the time out of their schedules to make these visits. It is very commendable.”

Photos by Larry Hartwell, FCSD#25, click to enlarge