Underwood School adds two classrooms [UPDATED]Published 10:30am Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Updated 11:12am Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Underwood School students and faculty will soon have a little more elbow room when a two-classroom addition project wraps up late this fall.
The school has been growing by a rate of about 15 to 20 students per year for the last 10 years, and the school board decided something needed to be done to accommodate for the increasing numbers.
Construction on an addition of two new classrooms began in the spring, and the rooms are expected to be ready for students by Nov. 1. All of the funding for the $350,000 project will come from the school district’s budget.
“As we started talking about this, we did not want to increase local taxes,” superintendent Jeremiah Olson said. “At the same time, we made this a priority. We tried to keep this a small scale project.”
Aside from the increase in enrollment, another reason for the expansion is to offer a wider variety of classes.
“We have done a lot with increasing college level classes in the school,” Olson said. “To do that, we had to add two additional staff members to our faculty.”
More teachers require more classrooms, but the two new rooms will not be specific to any one subject or teacher. They will be all-purpose high school classrooms.
“This is a two-phase push,” Olson said. “We want to reduce our section numbers, and provide the smaller class sizes people expect from a small town like Underwood.”
Although it is impossible to know for sure, it looks like enrollment at Underwood School will continue to rise, and these new classrooms will provide enough space for students and faculty in the coming years, he said.
“Nothing being added is frivolous,” said Olson. “We wanted to get the best classrooms possible while keeping the bottom line sustainable. I think it’s really good for the school. We want to have our kids taught in classrooms that are appropriate and conducive to learning, and I think this project will give us that.”