News & Events
South View Middle School’s renovations provide needed additional space for students and staff
5,750 square foot expansion provides new cafeteria space and updated classrooms
After a year of scaffolds donning the exterior of South View Middle School’s southeast corner, the new space is now open for learning and lunching. The school’s renovation boasts an additional 5,750 square feet including an expanded cafeteria, new small group special education classrooms, renovated world languages classrooms, and building mechanical updates.
“The larger cafeteria is bright and spacious, and the round tables make it more conducive for student interactions and socializing,” said Beth Russell, South View Principal. “As a result, there is a calmer atmosphere in the cafeteria. The re-designed classroom spaces for special education are more appropriate for the students we serve, and the world language rooms promote a welcoming and inviting learning environment.”
Studies showed that the current facilities were over capacity and that enrollment increases over the next five years would present additional capacity challenges. The District contracted with Wold Architects and Engineers of St. Paul, a firm specializing in planning and design for school and public sector spaces, to manage the project. The Edina School Board approved the $2.3 million renovation and construction project in July 2011, utilizing funds from the District’s alternative facilities and capital projects budgets.
The new cafeteria design transformed what was once a static lunchroom into an interactive student commons, complete with adequate space, a bright wall of windows and an exciting green tile pattern. The finished product is a modern common space, full of school spirit. The previous cafeteria was nearly half of the size recommended by the Minnesota Department of Education. Not only do students now have a larger space, but the furniture provides a variety of seating options to accommodate both dining and learning settings for collaborative large and small group gatherings.
Special Education Addition
The new special education addition was designed to provide a wider variety of spaces suitable to the diverse needs of individual students. The previous rooms were standard classrooms, separated by furniture and partitions to create small group spaces. The new space includes a large common area with smaller, more versatile classrooms along the side that accommodate small group learning needs.
In turn, the new special education spaces allowed the previous special education space to be converted back into more traditional classroom areas, which are now being used for world languages.
Mechanical System Update
In addition to spatial improvements, ongoing issues with indoor air quality were addressed by replacing the school’s ventilation system. The existing mechanical system was installed in 1955, outliving its recommended lifespan by 20 years. While repairs have kept the system operational, the availability of replacement parts and overall inefficiency of the system created difficulties in keeping the system afloat. The new system is a single rooftop air handling unit with adequate ventilation, more managed control of building temperatures, and energy conservation capabilities.
The South View renovation project focused on increasing capacity while meeting the changing needs of students in both classroom and social environments. Students and teachers are enjoying testing out the new space and appreciate the extra amount of breathing room that the additional square footage provides. As a result of the renovation, Edina Community Education was able to move the SURGE program, an afterschool program for students in grades 6-9 for both middle schools, from the Edina Community Center to the South View cafeteria, providing a more suitable environment for the students.