The students and staff at a Coeur d’Alene elementary school are in for one long field trip starting next fall.
Winton Elementary School will pack up and move out for the 2014-15 school year to allow workers to tear down the 89-year-old school – the oldest in the Coeur d’Alene district – and build a new one on the same spot.
School officials announced Monday that the 320 students and 24 staff members will relocate five miles north to the Hayden Kinder Center, an all-kindergarten school that formerly was Hayden Lake Elementary.
That will require the district to move kindergarten students into Atlas, Ramsey and Skyway elementary schools for the year, though some of those 260 students may remain at the Hayden school in a “Core Knowledge” pilot program begun this year.
Once Winton reopens, all the kindergarteners will reclaim the Kinder Center.
Winton, about four blocks south of Kootenai Health, will be rebuilt starting next summer at a cost of around $5 million. It’s one of five major school upgrades from a $32.7 million bond approved by voters in August 2012.
Officials considered several options for where to place Winton students during construction, including renting vacant commercial space, inquiring about classrooms at area churches and spreading grade levels among other elementary schools in the district.
The Winton community felt a strong desire to keep the students together during the construction work. After thorough fiscal and logistical analysis, the district chose to relocate all Winton students, kindergarteners through fifth graders, to the Kinder Center building.
“I’m very excited because our staff and students get to stay together, and that was the main thing,” said Winton’s principal, Michelle Williams.
In other district projects:
• Renovation of Sorensen Elementary School is complete. Minor landscaping and outdoor work will be finished next spring.
• A new addition to Canfield Middle School, including new classrooms, a science lab and professional-technical space, is ready to open after winter break. Students will move out of portables after the holidays, and a new gym will be in use by mid-January.
• Renovation of Bryan Elementary School will begin in June. Portables have been removed on the west side of the school and a new bus loop is done.
• Foundation work is beginning on Borah Elementary School’s new gym and two-classroom expansion. Renovation of the existing building will begin in June.
• The bonds also are financing mechanical improvements at Coeur d’Alene and Lake City high schools, Hayden Meadows and Fernan elementary schools, and the Kinder Center, while other schools are getting technology upgrades.