PITTSBURG — A few George Nettels Students used purple shovels to break ground for new construction at their school Monday.

Their classmates clapped and cheered as they turned over the fresh soil.

The excitement was about two new additions to George Nettels Elementary — two classrooms which will be used for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics projects and other group activities. The rooms will also be safe rooms in the event of inclement weather.

In March 2017, Pittsburg voters approved for a $31 million bond for renovations of Pittsburg USD 250 schools and the Family Resource Center. Construction is starting at George Nettels this week, then the following weeks at Meadowlark and Westside elementary schools. Lakeside’s renovations will be announced at a later date.

“It’s rewarding to be at this point in the process,” Superintendent Destry Brown said in a release. “Even though we have done some of the bond renovations and construction in other areas of the district, we will see structures going up very soon.”

The school has over 360 students, George Nettels Principal Diane Jackson said, and the new multipurpose additions will allow the teachers to bring their students to space dedicated to group work and STEM related projects. She said the equipment being in one place, along with the furniture, will be beneficial for all students.  

“Teachers didn’t have extra space to do activities and this allows the teachers to share the technology and equipment available,” Jackson said.

Fourth grader Grace Rogers said she’s looking forward to fifth grade, especially when it comes to STEM activities.

“I think it’s good,” she said. “We run out of room here, there’s so many people.

“We needed more room.”

Rogers said she was also glad to know the new additions will be safe in an event of inclement weather. In the past they had to gather into the kindergarten rooms, she said.

Jackson thanked the community for helping make the renovations and construction happen.

“We appreciate the community support to pass the bond issue to make this happen,” Jackson said.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.