The Greendale Schools’ Elementary Space Work Team Planning Committee is working towards moving the office to another location to give more classroom space to .
Greendale schools have always been ranked high and an attractive district for many families causing overcrowding issues.
Committee member Judy Fons said at Monday night’s school board meeting that the demographics are changing in Greendale. Younger families are moving in with children.
“I would say within the next two years you are going to run out of room,” said Fons.
The committee was formed back in the fall and is comprised of citizens with a financial or construction background and an interest in the schools. The group will access the overcrowding issue at the elementary schools.
It was determined that Highland View and are both 1 to 3 classrooms short. was determined to be in good condition.
Highland View Elementary space is so limited that they are operating the Reading Buddy program out of the hallways. Both at Canterbury and Highland View have some teachers are working out of closets and carts.
While both schools are in need of additional space, the committee has accessed that Highland View needs immediate attention.
One of the committee members said at Monday night’s meeting, “There is no more space. There are no more closets to take.”
Another committee member walked through the halls of Highland View and had this to report back to the school board. “Instead of collaborative planning you got collaborative distraction,” said Mike Connor. “If you stay on this path the overall academic achievement is going to diminish.”
The school board and committee both say that it would be in their better interest and the schools’ if the district office moves to a temporary location being that they need to vacate the Highland View location by at the end of Spring so that construction may start for the new classrooms in time for the upcoming school year.
The board and committee are looking at the following locations as possible rental space for short-term leases:
- St. Luke’s Church
- St. Alphonsus Church
- Lease space in an office complex in the Village or near the Village limits
- The Blood Center
- Empty Greenfield School District Offices
The following locations are being considered for a permanent station for the district offices to be constructed:
- Old Police Station site
- Community Center Park
- North of student parking lot
- Behind the High School by tennis courts
- West of the High School near the stadium
- South of the High School by the tree line
- Highland View Hill
- Old Youth Memorial Building site
- 84th and Grange
- Library Site
Both committee and school board agree that village manager Todd Michaels will play a part on the district’s relocation.
The problem remains, in which the schools are going to run out of room and the committee is trying to figure out a long-term solution.
The committee says it will cost about $550,000 to renovate the current district office into classrooms at Highland View.
The committee provided a few “ball park costs” to construct district offices.
Adding an addition to a current building for district offices will be about $1.9 million. To construct a new building will cost about $1.4 million dollars. To renovate the old police station for district offices it will cost a little over $2 million.
Committee members say that the money used for Highland View's renovation and construction will come out of the current budget and not affect taxes.
Committee member Jeff Kuhnke says the renovation needs to be done to improve the way education is given to children and to help the teachers.
“Some teachers have great ideas but don’t bother to say anything because they are already working out of closets and carts,” said Kuhnke.