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BC school additions are moving along
Benton Community Schools has seen the expansion of a few of its buildings over the past year.
The elementary building in Keystone has been completed and the Atkins additions are currently in the works.
The addition to Keystone is the smaller of the additions and was completed in December 2009.
There were four rooms that were built as a part of the addition: a teacher workroom, a computer lab and the other two are classrooms for special education and Title I.
According to Principal Tanya Langholdt, the teacher workroom and classrooms have been in use since mid-January. Currently, the computer lab is being furnished.
The teachers in Keystone have never had their own workroom, said Langholdt. The addition of the room will help make an impact on the efficiency of the administrative office in Keystone.
“This space allows the office to function more effectively,” said Langholdt. “It is also used a conference room when the need arises.”
Having the extra classrooms for students and faculty provides a better learning environment to students in the program, said Langholdt.
“The special education/Title I classrooms allow these programs to be more accessible for students and facilitate much more time to work with technology,” she said.
Finally, the new computer lab will allow more students access to technology.
“The computer lab doubles the number of computers in our building and will allow students much more time to work with technology,” said Langholdt.
The Atkins addition will be done in two phases. An addition to the west side of the current building is almost complete. According to Principal Jason West, the tentative completion date will be August 2010.
The west side addition will house classrooms for early childhood preschool and kindergarten.
“The goal is to start using (the west addition) by next year,” said West. “If it’s not finished, we’ll just have to make do with the classrooms we have now.”
An addition to the east side of the building is slated to begin as soon as the weather allows. The second addition will house a media center, computer lab and office space.
Once the east addition is finished, the current classrooms being used by the preschool and kindergarten classes will be a part of the media center and library.
All the new rooms will also be equipped and ready for the installation of different multimedia, such as LCD projectors.
Also in the works is a new parking area and turn around for busses, said West.
The additions to both Keystone and Atkins help to address a goal within the district to improve facilities across the school community. The improvements help the students for whom the additions were built.
“The primary reason for the construction was to provide quality instructional space for students and staff,” said Langholdt. “The additional classroom space also provides greater flexibility for programming at the elementary level.”
And the students are excited to get use out of their new space, said West.
“All the kids are really excited, especially now that the construction has begun,” he said. “We’re all ready for the new space.”

UPDATED March 31, 2010 9:36 PM

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