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Putnam Schools Approve Plans For New Virtual Learning Facility

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Schools Approve Plans For New Virtual Learning Facility

The Putnam County Board of Education finalized plans for the new VITAL facility near White Plains Academy Thursday night.

Upland Designs Consultant Kim Chamberlain said that the 13,000 square-foot facility was slightly bigger than originally planned for, but that the space will meet the needs of its users.

“We’re going to try to be really economical with this one,” Chamberlain said. “As far as framing, it’s the simplest shape we can do, a rectangular shape is the most economical we can do. So we’re going to do our best to try and meet those funds. ”

Chamberlain said that the next steps will be going into the design development phase. He said that he’ll then have his engineer team visit the site to evaluate future action. Chamberlain said that he expects to bid the work out sometime in May or June.

Director of Schools Corby King said that the facility will serve as a meeting space, an adult learning facility, and will feature additional classroom space. He said the new facility will make a significant difference in the instruction of virtual learning.

“In a regular classroom, we have four VITAL teachers with partitions that are teaching online,” King said. “They’ve got their headsets and computers, they’re on Zoom with their students, they’ve got the board behind them. It’s amazing to go and see but it’s still a little distracting because you’ve got four lesson plans going on at the same time. But they do a really good job and the students do a really good job tuning in.”

“So that’s actually a classroom space for a VITAL teacher, not just an office,” King said. “So it’s kind of a different thought process and setup, but we like that. Our VITAL teachers are really excited for the opportunity and the program has grown we’ve seen an increased need for that space.”

The school system expanded virtual options in the wake of COVID to expand offerings across additional grade levels.

The post Putnam Schools Approve Plans For New Virtual Learning Facility appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.