There are just a few weeks left in the school year, and when students at Winchester Elementary come back in the fall, they’ll be returning to almost an entirely different building.
For over a year, Winchester School District #1 and Superintendent David Roberts have been finding ways to fund a significant elementary school renovation.
With the last day of classes for Winchester schools is set for May 26th, Roberts explains how the project was funded, and says that renovations will begin almost immediately, and expected to be complete in time for the fall semester.
“This past winter we approved a Health Life Safety bond to do a lot of the project, but we’re also selling working cash bonds as well, plus Scott County has the one percent sales tax. We’ve been accumulating that (sales tax) money since July of 2015, so we’re using some of that money to also pay for this project. The majority of the project is going to start here June 1st, and expected to be done by August 11th,” says Roberts.
Roberts says the original motivation behind this project was to regulate and improve the heat and air quality of the nearly-six decades-old building.
“The grade school building opened in 1959 and it has a lot of original building equipment, in particular on the old boiler. We’ve had some mold issues, we’ve had some buckling of the gym floor due to extreme humidities. So the driving force of what we’re trying to originally trying to do was to improve the air quality, the heat and air of the building,” Roberts explains.
The Superintendent explains that the company CTS out of St. Louis, which did the renovations at Lincoln Elementary School in Jacksonville will be heading the project.
WLDS-WEAI also caught up with Winchester Elementary School Principal Andy Stumpf, who says he believes the new school will make for a much more education-friendly work space.
“Even (yesterday), 85 degrees, it’s hot and muggy in certain areas of the school. We’ve got sick kids a lot because we can’t control the air, we’ve got the windows open, so kids with allergies and sinus issues are constantly sick. I think our attendance is going to improve, I think our academics are going to improve because we’re providing a better learning environment for our students. I see a lot of positive changes coming for the students here at Winchester Grade School,” says Stumpf.
As stated by Roberts, the hope is for the project to be completed by August 11th, which would give Winchester schools a couple of weeks before the official start of classes next fall.