by ADAM GRUENEWALD
School Board members and staff are hoping that voters will give their approval to a bond issue permitting a remodeling of Central Elementary School.
Voters will decide on Nov. 5 whether to approve the $3.3 million project and corresponding 15-year bonds.
Superintendent Brian Corlett explained the 15,422-square-foot project will incorporate the addition of five classrooms and a music room as well as a new office area.
“The office space is more of a safety issue than anything,” said Corlett, explaining it will be at the front of the elementary. “We want to have people have to enter the office to get in the building.”
This would be a change from the current set-up where the main office is located away from the main entrance.
Elementary Principal Michael Daugs said the secure entrance reinforces existing security measures such as cameras and monitors.
“Security is becoming more and more of a focus,” said Daugs. “Recent events have helped it to a high level of awareness.”
Daugs said the new entrance will enable them to monitor who is coming in and know who is in the building, not just in case of a threat but in cases like a fire, where they could relay information to the fire department on who is in the building.
“We will maintain community involvement but it would allow us to do a better job in security,” said Daugs. “Without having them come into the office it’s a security issue for our students and adults in the building.”
Additionally, the new classrooms will accommodate preschool and extended day programs, which are located in land the district is leasing across from the school.
“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to be able to do,” said Daugs. “We want to be more cohesive. We work hard at it current and would be able to work together on a more regular basis.”
The school is already equipped to handle the new students, Corlett said.
“We’ve been leasing for seven years,” said Corlett. “As we remodeled a couple of years ago we talked about adding on. So with that, they of course made sure the heating and cooling were upgraded to handle that space.”
Also included in the project is a redesign of the parking lot which will create a separate area for bus drop off and parent pick-up.
Because of the leasing savings, Corlett said the project costs are offset as they will only increase taxes $24 a year on homes valued at $200,000, for example.
Corlett was hopeful of the project’s possible approval and that voters would understand the potential future benefits.
“We expect our enrollment to grow as the economy turns around,” said Corlett.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at firstname.lastname@example.org.