PITTSBURG — At $3.6 million, construction at Lakeside Elementary would be the highest among Pittsburg’s four elementary schools if the district’s proposed $67.6 million bond is passed by voters.
The bond was mailed to nearly 12,000 registered voters within the district last weekend. Those voters now decide the fate of the bond, which will be known Jan. 28.
The proposal calls for a multipurpose storm shelter at each elementary school. DLR Group Architect Kevin Greischar said the shelters are all “comparable" in size at roughly 6,000 square feet each.
Lakeside’s storm shelter on the east side would connect to two parts of the school. Principal Courtney McCartney said the current storm shelter situation is not ideal — some students go to bathrooms others to hallways and stairwells.
“We are very spread out across the building, and a big concern is communication,” she said. “We have radios, but not everyone has them, and being able to get to each of the areas is difficult.”
Lakeside’s storm shelter, estimated at $1.5 million, would be used as the school’s second gymnasium. But, the current gym would lose space as Lakeside’s proposal calls for expanding the kitchen and cafeteria into part of the gym.
Kitchen Manager Angela Whetzell is hopeful.
“We just need the bond to pass,” she said.
The cooks’ prep area is roughly 25 by 20 feet. The equipment, Whetzell said, works most of the time.
“We don’t have updated equipment, it’s very used,” she said, adding some of the residential Whirlpool freezers used to store food have broken and food has spoiled.
Out of 10 freezers used by the school, four are something typically found in a home.
The proposal would move roughly 230 fifth graders from all of the elementary schools to a new wing at the middle school – the move would free up three classrooms at Lakeside.
McCartney said classroom sizes have continued to rise during her seven year tenure as principal. The second grade is “maxed” out.
“If we continue to grow … we may start to see some trailers or something to put out for classrooms,” she said.
Lakeside, the largest elementary with 408 students, have repurposed and walled off “double rooms” to create additional classrooms.
McCartney said the school loses a double room each year. In turn, children lose a place for alternative learning other than a lecture setting, she said.
The post marked ballots must be received by the county clerk no later than noon on Jan. 28. The district will know the results later that day.
The bond would cost $11.81 a month for a home valued at $100,000. The term would be for 25 years. A business valued at $100,000 would cost owners $308.05 per year.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.