The initial proposal of 2011 encompassed retiring the Roanoke Avenue Elementary School. A locally designated landmark, the school was originally built in 1937 as a Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration project and was severely outdated as an educational facility. The building originally served as the District’s high school but it was converted into an elementary school when the new high school was constructed. However, following consultations with the District and the community, the plan to move the Roanoke Elementary’s students into one of the other elementary schools was reconsidered and the school was to remain in service after receiving substantial renovations and upgrades.
Following voter approval of the $78.4 million bond issue to finance district-wide school expansions, the $7.8-million capital plan for the Roanoke Elementary included improvements totaling over 15,250 square feet. The additions house a new, 1,850-SF cafeteria; two new Kindergarten classrooms; a kitchen; new special education classrooms including an ESL, literary and resource room; and improvements to administrative offices encompassing a new social worker’s, school psychologist’s, and principal’s office, main office and waiting rooms. With the new building addition, BBS’s design team was determined to protect and meticulously emulate the architectural vernacular and historical character of the original Roanoke Elementary building, including preserving its exterior massing, materials, shapes, and neo-classical architectural style.