ME adds new classroom space

CASSTOWN — Miami East Local School District is adding classroom space to its K-8 and junior high school buildings, preparing for growth in several specific grade levels.

“This is the first time in 20 years that we’ve added classrooms on the K-8 building,” district Superintendent Dr. Todd Rappold said. “We’re being proactive. In the event that we have some larger classes come through the school district, that we have that available classroom space in the K-8 building.”

Four new classrooms in the K-8 building are already finished, and work on the junior high addition is expected to be finished by sometime in early 2023. “Each classroom is 900 square feet, and there’s four at the elementary,” Rappold said. “They look exactly the same as the other classrooms at the elementary.”

“We have two additional grade levels in there this year,” he said. “We’ve got an additional 2nd grade and an additional 5th grade, then the other two are just for tutoring students.”

Westerheide Construction Company out of Sidney was the contractor for the elementary addition.

“H.A. Dorsten out of Minster is currently doing the junior high addition,” Rappold said. “The elementary classrooms cost us approximately $900,000, and the four classrooms that are currently being constructed at the junior high were $1.2 million.”

The additions are being funded through permanent improvement funds that the district has been saving for this purpose.

“We waited until we had those funds to be able to do that project,” Rappold said. “The district is using permanent improvement funds that we’ve been saving for almost five or six years.”

The K-8 and junior high buildings were originally constructed in 2003. The district decided to add elementary and junior high classrooms specifically, due to larger than usual classes in those grade levels. “Right now, our total enrollment has not increased significantly from where it was five years ago,” Rappold said. “We just have some specific larger classes than we’ve had before.”

“We try to stay a step ahead of new construction that’s occurring in the school district,” Rappold said.