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Committee for Laurel schools considering possible new elementary school

New committee for Laurel Public Schools
Posted at 5:48 PM, Aug 01, 2022

LAUREL — As the new school year approaches, Laurel Public Schools are working to prepare for the new year, making major repairs inside schools and considering whether to build a new elementary school.

The Laurel School Board has created a new sub-committee to discuss building renovations and construction. The committee is made up of two school board members, the superintendent and is open to the public. It will hold its second meeting Aug. 1. The first meeting held had a turn-out of around 20 attendees.

“We threw out some new ideas as to how to move forward. And again, talking about whether it's replacing buildings or whether it’s just renovating buildings," said Laurel Superintendent Matt Torix, who started in his position one month ago, on Monday.

Whether the district decides to build a new elementary school to combine the two schools needing the most repair, Fred W. Graff and South Elementary, the repairs currently being made are essential, according to the district.

“Even if we passed a bond early next spring, we’re probably still looking at another year before you’d even break ground. So any repairs we make in these buildings, we’re trying to make them last four to five years,” said Torix.

The repairs currently happening at Graff Elementary range from an entirely new gym floor to replacing some of the classroom floors.

“The floors are at risk, and to have an operational building for the safety of students, the repairs are necessary and they need to be timely,” said Graff Principal Lynne Peterson.

The repairs being made at all five Laurel schools are to ensure the comfort and safety of the students.

“For a student to have to come into a classroom that’s cold in the morning, you know, that’s not a type of classroom that we want. It affects our kids,” said Wayne Fjare, the director of facilities for Laurel schools.

The new committee meets twice a month and the community is encouraged to attend. After the meetings and discussion, the committee will then report back to the school board.

“They need to know their children are safe and we need to know what they think we need to improve upon. It’s a partnership. We don’t live in isolation from each other,” said Peterson.