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Laurel ready to work on new elementary school after bond passes

Laurel school.jpg
Posted at 11:58 PM, May 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 09:04:58-04

LAUREL - A new elementary school is on its way in Laurel after voters passed a $57 million bond on Tuesday.

The proposed plans will go ahead, including the 3rd through 5th-grade elementary school across from the middle school.

Some in the neighborhood are concerned about the higher taxes while others are happy that there will be a new building.

Part of the plan is to tear down Graff Elementary School and build a new school across from the middle school.

"The whole getting rid of Graff, if they're going to replace it, if it's going to be an improved school, I guess it'll be okay," said Melissa Munguia, a parent in Laurel.

Munguia's son was playing T-ball on Wednesday night and will soon attend elementary school.

Her older son, Taydence, will be in high school in the fall and was once a student at Graff Elementary School.

"The library got all flooded and such," said Taydence Munguia. "And then you could go outside and then there'd be this gigantic puddle after it would rain at the swing and no one would be able to get walk over there."

The $57 million elementary school bond will allow for the demolishing Graff and putting sports fields in its place and some of the nearby land.

West Elementary will be remodeled for pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade and the new elementary school will be for third through fifth graders.

"That's a relief to be honest with you," said Matt Torix, Laurel Public Schools superintendent. "We know the hard work really is to come. But the fact that there's some light at the end of that tunnel, frankly, makes us feel pretty good."

The $31 million high school bond did not pass which would have helped with career technical education and the gym.

"We're just going to have to deal with the other shortfalls and then and then readdress that at a later date," Torix said.

He also said if the board decides to sell the administration building, that could bring in money to help the high school and he respects that some did not support passing the bond.

"We really need to spend the next couple of years to showing them that this was a smart decision," said Torix.

The superintendent says the design team will have plans this summer and he took a guess at the timeline and that the construction could start next spring and be ready in the fall of 2025.

"If it means that there's going to be a safe place where my kid can have, you know, an education," said Melissa Munguia.