A larger than expected kindergarten class has led Swanton Local Schools officials to consider an additional two classrooms at Crestwood Elementary School. The Board of Education told Superintendent Jeff Schlade he could look into the possibility of a change order to construction to add the additional two classrooms, but not spend any money at this point.
Schlade said the idea could work if the additional cost does not increase the project total over the originally budgeted amount. A lower than anticipated cost of abatement at the Cherry Street buildings has helped to make that possible.
“A little bit of extra space over there [at Crestwood] would be nice, if we could get it within that budget,” said Schlade. “That’s kind of the caveat.”
He added that the architect thinks it can probably be done while staying in budget, but there is not a firm number at this point.
The discussion originated after a larger than expected number of incoming students attended kindergarten registration and screening. The number of students necessitated an additional section of kindergarten, bringing the number of classes to five. When school starts in the fall, the class will likely have about 20 more students than the grade just above it, which was lower than normal.
Another class similar in size to the kindergarten class of the 2017-18 school year would mean another classroom is needed in a school that would already be tight on space.
“So, basically we have one big class, it puts a monkey wrench in everything,” said board member David Smith.
Smith asked how it would impact other schools done the road. Electives and the fact that students move around to different classrooms at the middle school and high school levels allows school officials to dampen the impact at those age levels. But that cannot be done at the lower grade levels, where students remain in one classroom most of the day.
The board would likely need to make a decision on adding the classrooms soon.
Other than that, Schlade said the biggest cocern with construction is an electrical issue in the new lunchroom at Park School. “There’s still optimism that we can get that taken care of by the end of this month,” he said.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010