Riverfield Country Day School's 22,000-square-foot expansion taking shape
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Saturday, December 29, 2012
12/29/12 at 7:41 AM
Steel beams are ready and waiting at the construction site of the upper school expansion at Riverfield Country Day School.
Although dirt work has been going on since the summer at the Tulsa private school, Toby Clark, upper and middle school head, is looking forward to seeing those steel beams go up.
"To me, it doesn't seem real until I see the shape," he said.
The 22,000-square-foot expansion will include 15 classrooms and three science labs, as well as a cafeteria and library/media center, two things the middle and upper school don't really have right now.
The first middle and upper school building was completed in 2005, and at that time there were 50 students in sixth through 10th grade. A few years later Riverfield graduated its first senior class of two students. Now the middle and upper school has almost 200 students and a senior class of 25.
"We've basically quadrupled," Clark said.
Head of School Jerry Bates said that when the first middle and upper school was constructed, it was a "build it and they will come" situation. Growth followed, and expansion became necessary.
Right now the upper and middle school students meet in 15 classrooms spread among the main building, the Langerak Academic Center and portable buildings.
When the expansion is complete in August, there will be 26 classrooms available, Clark said. Visual arts, language arts, drama, and speech and debate classes will relocate to the LAC, and the main upper and middle school building will house core classes for sixth and seventh grades.
The expansion will primarily house core classes for eighth through 12th grades, and one of the portable buildings will be removed.
"The (current) facilities don't meet the program needs, just from the numbers," Clark said. "Every teacher is sharing classrooms, but we make it work."
The expansion will cost $3.5 million, and the school is still raising money for the project, Bates said.
The upper and middle school expansion won't be the last construction project to take place on the campus.
"Every time you finish one building, you talk about the next," Bates said.
School officials eventually would like to replace temporary buildings that house the school's band program with a performing arts center and classroom building, he said, and add an indoor athletic center with tennis courts.
"Our enrollment and retention has been very strong. We really want to meet the needs of the demographics," Bates said. "We have a unique culture here. We certainly don't want to lose our culture with our growth."
Original Print Headline: Building a better fit
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Gary Tennehill (left), Troy McGonigal and Greg Lower (right) look over a plumbing system at Riverfield Country Day School in Tulsa on Friday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
This is a rendering of the middle and upper school expansion at Riverfield Country Day School. Courtesy
Toby Clark (left) and Jerry Bates: The Riverfield Country Day School administrators are excited for the expansion project. "The facilities don't meet the program needs," Clark said of the current site