RANCHESTER — At their regular monthly board meeting last night, the Sheridan County School District 1 Board of Trustees voted to pursue enhancements to the new Tongue River Elementary building.
Construction on the building is expected to begin this spring and will be located adjacent to the Tongue River Middle School just outside of Ranchester.
SCSD 1 Superintendent Marty Kobza said the elementary school being constructed is a predetermined prototype offered by the state. However, Kobza said the district is likely going to add additional space for the gymnasium and common areas.
“What they are is some expanded areas like in the general commons area and there’s some additional square footage in the gym area, mostly so it can be usable by our middle school as well,” Kobza explained. “The middle school would use the gym for some practices so we could get kids home earlier. In the common area, those areas never seem to be large enough for eating and holding programs.”
While the state is paying for construction of the new school, the enhancements will be paid for by the district. Kobza said that the enhancements will be put out for bid and he is expecting that at this time, the additional space would cost approximately $368,000.
In other business, the board heard a presentation on the district’s recently completed 2012-2013 audit report and also heard from Kobza about several bills being introduced in the state Legislature that could affect the district and education throughout the state.
In particular, he noted bills related to allowing districts to authorize staff to carry firearms in the school; a bill that would require staff to receive suicide prevention training on a regular basis; a bill that would prevent school administration officials from using information gathered from personal social media sites to hire, discipline or fire staff; and a bill that would require legislative review and approval of state education curriculum and performance standards.