Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2004

District seeks more classrooms at TES to accommodate growth

January 15, 2004

School administrators and board members talked Monday night about renovating the elementary school's maintenance building to create additional classroom space.

But no decision was made.

Superintendent Richard Erickson said it likely would cost from $60,000 to $70,000 to remodel the south two-thirds of the building. The north third of the building will continue to house the district's volunteer center.

But several board members said they were concerned about other costs. Establishing two new classrooms means hiring two additional teachers.

Erickson, and TES administrators Jerry Daskoski and Tammie George said the additional classrooms would allow the district to continue to maintain a low student-teacher ratio.

With the elementary school's continued enrollment climb, that has become more difficult. For instance, on Sept. 20, the school had 788 students. As of Monday, enrollment had reached 805.

If the board would opt to renovate the maintenance building, two classrooms, two smaller rooms for other student use and restrooms would be added.

"Can I say that this will be a solution for the next two years?" said Erickson. "No. I'd say it's a possibility that it would get us through next year and possibly through the second year. ... It could get us through until the district passes a bond election."

Erickson said he had looked into buying more modular classrooms, as the district has done the previous two years. The cost of adding two modulars would be about the same as renovation of the maintenance building, he said. But the school is quickly running out of ground where modulars could be installed.

A bonus of renovating the maintenance building, Erickson said, is that unlike modular classrooms, if and when the district begins construction of a new 5-8 middle school, the modular classrooms would be sold. However, he said, the improved maintenance building would remain for school use.

Erickson told board members that earlier in the day he had authorized, at a cost of $700, the district's architect to draw up plans for remodeling the maintenance building.

The building is at the northwest corner of the school property.

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