Preliminary renderings of a new downtown elementary were presented Wednesday to the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority with a pitch that the project, if successful, will accelerate development of new housing in the city’s urban core.
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Elementary plans to be analyzed
Plans for the John W. Rex Elementary School will be reviewed by several government bodies and likely will be scrutinized more than any other school built as part of the MAPS for Kids program. The land, one of the city’s blighted “skid rows,” is owned by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, and the exterior and site plans require the approval of the authority’s board.
One contention arose during Wednesday’s review by Urban Renewal as board member Larry Nichols challenged the location of the drop-off and pickup area along Dewey Avenue as being too long of a walk for children to the classroom building.
Designer Kerry Leonard responded the site plan is designed for long lines of cars to begin along California and Dewey avenues — out of the more heavily traveled Sheridan and Walker avenues. He also responded a change in the building locations would result in the classrooms looking out at the Sheridan Walker Parking Garage instead of the Myriad Gardens.
The plans are next set to be reviewed by the nonprofit Oklahoma City Quality Schools, which is helping fund the project and will operate the school in conjunction with Oklahoma City Public Schools as a charter school.
The designs also will require approval by the Oklahoma City MAPS for Kids Trust, the Oklahoma City Public School Board, the Oklahoma City Council and the Downtown Design Review Committee.