The Inman USD 448 Board of Education recently made its next step toward changes to its two district buildings.
An application to conduct a bond election was submitted earlier this month. District residents will vote on a $4,535,000 bond in May.
“We want to make sure we appreciate what facilities we have, but also look at what our needs are for the future,” superintendent Kevin Case said.
The staff, board, administration and site council has been gathering input since 2007 in preparation for the bond issue.
“We knew the current bonds we have were about to be paid off,” Case said. “If we were going to do something, we needed to be prepared for that.”
Needs have been identified as a classroom addition to the elementary school, renovations to the high school gymnasium-auditorium and improvements to the parking at the high school.
The additions to the elementary school would be located along the northwest corner of the building, stretching north across a closed street through the playground. This will provide four additional classrooms to be used for kindergarten, pre-kindergarten and early learning students. Title and special education areas would then be allowed to expand.
This would allow pre-kindergarten students to learn in the same building they will eventually advance to, rather than being separated in a mobile unit as they currently are.
“If I was a parent (of a young student), I would want my child to be in the setting where they're going to go to school at where they become familiar with other faces besides (the paraeducator) and me,” said Jodi Case, pre-kindergarten teacher.
Case said her students’ only interaction with others is their trip to the library. The move will allow students to get the exposure they need, expand their learning environment and also foster teacher collaboration in the building.
“Those kinds of things will make a huge difference,” she said.
At the high school, the gymnasium-auditorium would be converted to a full-time auditorium and be upgraded for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The roof above that area also would be improved.
The plan also includes improvements to the existing high school parking lots.
“Our intent is to continue to meet the needs of all students,” Case said.
The district is waiting to finalize plans on the project until the bond issue passes.
“We’ve done the needs assessment piece,” Case said. “We know what we want to do. Now we need to educate the public.”
If passed, construction would not begin for another year or more.
It has been 15 years since the district has undertaken a similar bond issue. It added a music room, band room, library, kitchen and classrooms at the elementary school, and a junior high wing at the secondary education building.
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