Triopia School District broke ground last Friday on a new addition to the front of their Elementary School.
Superintendent Adam Dean says that the project has been a few years in the making to make the school safer and more spacious: “We are adding a secure entrance and administrative office space to the front of our Grade School. For people who’ve been here, we have an elementary school secretary and grade school principal, and their offices are really in the middle of the building. We did have a kind of ‘buzz in’ system where people can push a button and ring, then the secretary would let them in. As parents or any visitor came in, they would walk right by the classrooms. It’s not secure at all. We’ve really been discussing this project for the past 5-8 years. We worked with a security expert in 2018, and he recommended that we secure our entrances. We are, with the existing foyer, it’s going to be a holding area and then in the front part of that, visitors will go in through an office space that holds our secretary and it will also hold a principal’s office and meeting room.”
Students for the school were on hand Friday for the golden shovel groundbreaking along with the district’s architect and contractor. Dean says that financing for the project isn’t going to affect property taxes: “We do have some reserves that will be used to pay for the project. The majority of it will be paid for from the county facilities sales tax. The penny sales tax is on everything. We are going to borrow some money from bonds. Through that, we will use the county facilities sales tax to pay for that. We do not foresee any changes to property taxes. I know that’s an important thing for people right now. In fact, since 2015, our property tax rate, we’ve been able to drop that a little bit every year. With our property values increasing, we have been able to drop our property tax rate, and we do not foresee this project changing that at all.”
The new addition will be at the north end of the facility. People will no longer be able to park in the far north lot due to the construction.
The 1,200 square foot expansion is expected to cost roughly $1 million. According to the Journal Courier, this is the first large construction project the district has undertaken since 2015. The new addition is expected to open shortly after the Christmas break in early January.