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Archive for Wednesday, February 12, 1992

BUILDINGS

February 12, 1992

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— A handful of Eudora school district patrons, parents and board members witnessed cramped conditions during a tour of the district's schools Tuesday morning.

The group met at Eudora Junior-Senior High School and rode a yellow school bus to the Holy Family Catholic Church, where the district leases two rooms for kindergarten classes.

"We have to have part of the elementary operation away from Nottingham because we don't have room for kindergarten over there," said Tom Jerome, elementary principal.

The church building fails to meet handicap accessibility requirements for schools, and isolates kindergarten teachers from happenings at the elementary school, he said.

Jerome said about 60 children attend kindergarten half-day every day at the church building. They visit Nottingham Elementary School monthly in efforts to integrate kindergarten with the rest of the school, he said.

From the church building, the group was bused back to the junior-senior high school, where Charlie Watts, principal, guided the tour.

ABOUT 380 students in grades seven through 12 have crowded into the building and four mobile units since a section of the high school was razed last summer. A number of former classrooms now serve as the library, main office, and counseling office, said Watts.

He said the cost of heating and cooling the uninsulated building has skyrocketed since the mobile units arrived because outside air constantly flows into the school as students head to and from class.

Lunches for the district's school children are prepared at the junior-senior high school, said Supt. Dan Bloom. Some kitchen equipment and supplies are stored in the school hallways because of a lack of storage space, he said.

Sports equipment lines the hallway by the gymnasium for the same reason.

THE NEXT stop on the tour was Nottingham, which serves about 440 children in first through sixth grades. Students in first, second and third grade attend class in the primary wing; fourth- and fifth-graders are housed in the intermediate wing; and sixth-grade classes meet in three mobile classrooms.

Storage rooms are packed with materials, and some former storage rooms now are used for special services. One small room's many uses include curriculum storage, occupational and physical therapy, school psychology services, and testing. The boys locker room also serves as storage space, a tornado shelter and room for special services.

"We've taken every corner to use for something," Bloom said.

District voters in November 1990 defeated a $4 million school bond issue, that would have financed a new high school.

School administrators expressed disappointment that few community members took advantage of the tour. Only about 10 individuals toured the buildings Tuesday.

TO RELIEVE crowding in the schools, Bloom said, the district needs to build a high school for students in ninth through 12th grade, serve grades five through eight at the junior high, and kindergarten through four at the elementary school.

Even with the addition of a new high school, the facilities would still be at about 95 percent capacity, he said. The next step would be to construct a new building for grades four, five and six. The junior high school then would house students in seventh, eighth and ninth grades; the high school would serve grades 10 through 12; and students in kindergarten through third grade would attend Nottingham.

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