Lee Elementary wraps up renovation project

By Bryan Richardson

Lee Elementary staff and students are finally starting to see all of the fruits of the construction labor. This week, the school officially wrapped up its renovations with the move of the remainder of its annex into the main building.

“It’s one thing to plan it and see it on paper,” principal Nancy Kole said. “It’s another thing to finally see it in place. It’s an exciting thing to see it move forward.”

Lee’s construction and renovation project was the biggest of the elementary school projects in the $97.5 million bond issue. The project expanded Lee’s main building capacity by 315 students — to 472 — and added 14 classrooms.

An influx of new students will come with the additional space starting next school year. The district’s redistricting elementary school efforts have centered on bringing more students to Lee. According to the recommended district map, Lee would add 140 students into its boundaries. It has also eliminated mobile classrooms from the site.

Kole said the school will invite new families in for a look once redistricting is official. She said students and some teachers will also take field trips to meet the other students.

“I think it’ll be exciting to bring some new faces over to Lee,” Kole said. She also said she’s excited about the technology additions and the new renovations.

Kole said the value of the project is improving the school physically and showing that the community cares. “Your surroundings are always important,” she said. “We have kids that spend 7:30 a.m. to six in the evening here.”

There’s still some work to be done now that the construction portion of the project is complete. For one, Kole said the finished areas now need a more personal touch. She said the kids will be a part of the redecorating process. “It takes a lot to get a classroom ready,” she said.

Also, there’s the implementing of landscape plans as well as a celebration of the completed project. The school will hold its BBQ along with an open house on April 20.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017