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New space at Marcy, Woodside schools put to use

Jan. 22, 2013

Hamilton School District students and staff were able to take full occupancy of the classroom addition at Woodside when classes resumed Jan. 2 after winter break.

Already in November, Woodside was able to use its multi-purpose facility. The classroom addition houses second-graders, with fifth-graders who were previously in the portable unit moving into the second-graders' former home and one first grade classroom. The first grade class moved to join the rest of the first grade classrooms near the office.

The project was estimated to cost about $2 million, but came in under budget, explained Hamilton School District Public Information & Volunteer Program Coordinator, Denise Dorn Lindberg. Lindberg said the school was also able to use the same contractor that built the original building. "The work on the addition looks seamless. You really can't tell where the original structure was and where the new part begins," she said.

The Woodside project included a five-classroom addition to replace the portable unit and a multi-purpose room to meet gym and band needs for the growing school. Additional restrooms were part of the project to meet municipal codes.

"The district did not go to referendum for projects, but instead used its operational budget over two years to cover costs with a portion coming from the district's fund balance. The portion coming from the fund balance was less than anticipated," Lindberg said.

Next month, a group will tour Marcy Elementary which also received classroom and workspace additions.

A year ago the district approved the additions for the schools that were exceeding their capacity. Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud explained last year, Woodside was originally designed to house about 600 kids, but its current enrollment sat at 674. Ruud said the school has seen enrollments as high as 700, but the school's population is currently trending flat or even downward. Four temporary classrooms were brought to Woodside eight years ago to handle excess students. That portable unit, which the village said in 2011 needed to be gone by 2014, will be removed within a few weeks.

- Reporter Paige Brunclik

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