Imagine a “new” school at 850 Tiger Drive.

It has three parking lots; two distinct entrances on opposite corners of the building, each adjacent to administrative offices; a road that encircles the entire school but with multiple access points; two gymnasiums; a single, shared library and tech-ed room; one kitchen but two “student commons” areas for each of the two age levels.

That single building accommodates half of all Ripon School District’s students, from grades six to 12.

However, it segregates the students.

Middle schoolers’ classrooms are located on the east end of the existing high school building, while high schoolers are stationed to the west in a combination of new and existing building.

That’s the glimpse into the possible future of Ripon’s combined high school and middle school.

Ripon School Board members got their first look Monday evening of a rough layout for the school, which would utilize and renovate the existing high school building while constructing an addition to the structure’s west side (on which the main entrance now exists).

The project would not require acquisition of any additional land.

Voters may decide on the concept and the price tag — which could be as much as $26.6 million — when they vote on referenda in the Nov. 4 election.

The proposed school changes are part of an estimated $29.1 million package that also could include $1.5 million for maintenance and security improvements to the two elementary schools, and $1 million to raze the 1939 middle school building.

Read the full story in the June 12, 2014 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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