Southland Schools in design phase for $18.2M renovation and addition project

Published 8:12 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

Months after Southland Schools District voters said yes to their bond referendum, there are signs of progress and updates for the upcoming $18.2 million addition and renovation project.

District taxpayers voted yes to a bond referendum for a $15.8 million renovation, in November 2018, to accommodate Southland Elementary students once the Rose Creek building closes, followed by the transition of students into the middle and high school building in Adams. This project also addressed security and HVAC system upgrades.

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There was also the passage of the second question on the ballot that approved $2.4 million for a new additional gymnasium that provides additional space for physical education.

What led to the Southland School Board’s decision to close Southland Elementary School was declining student enrollment and declining state funds.

So far, the project is in its design phase, said Superintendent Jeff Sampson. While project designs have been discussed, there aren’t any finalized renderings yet on what the finished addition would look like.

Sampson stated that the project was slated to break ground in August of this year, but a specific timeline laying out when the project would be completed remains undetermined.

If things adhere to schedule, then the goal would be to have everything completed, staff moved and ready for students on the first day of school for the 2020-21 school year.

“There has been building excitement throughout the schools and throughout the district as we are designing the project,” Sampson said. “People can’t wait for the actual construction to start.”

As for what Southland School planned to do with the Rose Creek building once emptied, Sampson said that the school board is currently discussing possibilities and ideas.