Looking to expand capacity at Endy, Stanly County Schools issues RFQ

Stanly County Schools recently sent a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural firms that could design and plan for 10 additional classrooms at Endy Elementary School — increasing capacity at a school in a growth area of the county.

The idea of expanding the school’s capacity, which has been discussed during recent Board of Education work sessions, is in part due to the passing of House Bill 90 in 2018, which required a gradual reduction in the average class size for grades K-3 over the next several years.

As of the 2021-2022 school year, K-3 classrooms had to have a district average of 18 students and no single class could have more than 21 students. Those are the same specifications for the current school year.

While nothing is set in stone at this point, the school system wants the ability to consult with a firm and have conversations about what expansion could look like assuming growth continues.

“Looking at the amount of kids that we have added on that side of the county and looking at the fact that Endy does have a dual language program … which expands the number of students that go to that school, we’re going to have to look at what it may look like if we were to have to add some extra space over there,” Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis said.

The dual language program, which was enacted during the 2019-2020 school year, is open to any elementary student in the district and prepares students to be proficient readers and writers in English and Spanish.

The program, which begins in kindergarten, requires a new classroom each year.

“Just like anything, if you keep growing and you only have a finite amount of space, eventually you’re going to have to address” capacity needs, Dennis said.

The enrollment at Endy has increased by about 50 students since the dual language program was created, according to SCS data.

According to the RFQ, the firm that is chosen “will be required to perform the basic architectural and engineering service to be specified more fully in a contract agreement to be negotiated after selection.”

Architectural firms have until 2 p.m. Feb. 2 to submit details about the company, its history, qualifications, experience and references to Dennis.

“Endy is a real priority right now because we are certainly out of room,” Stanly County Board of Education Chairwoman Glenda Gibson said.

As Stanly County continues to expand its population, Gibson said she looks forward to working with Stanly County commissioners and local councils to make decisions that are in the best interests of students.

“We want the school system to be in a much better place for our children now and our children down the road,” Gibson said.