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Increased enrollment opens up future construction options

The Sunnyside School District received a nice surprise last week. Because of increased enrollment, the square footage the district has to build on has been increased to 67,000 square feet. This new amount is also covered under the state-matching fund which matches approximately 83 percent.

"This is really good news," Sunnyside School Superintendent Dr. Rick Cold said.

What to do with this extra square footage will be decided by Nov. 28. Already some options have thrown around.

Begin phase II at the new Sierra Vista school. The 8th grade wing and the auxiliary gym could be started and finished by next September.

Options after Sierra Vista would be the district building a new K-5 or K-6 elementary school. The new school would take about 50,000 square feet and cost $8,183,500. The state would reimburse $6,909,329 of that.

That would be one option. The other option is to improve several other buildings.

The first would be to create a 9th grade academy/vocational skills center. This project would take up 20,000 square feet and cost $3,273,400 which the state would reimburse $2,762,750.

Along with the new skills center, Washington Elementary would be getting some improvements. A new library, cafeteria, classrooms and a gym would take between 11,000 and 16,000 square feet. The cost would be $12,583,277 with the state matching $10,624,060.

Pioneer Elementary needs a new dining area. This project would take 3,000 square feet and cost the district $491,010, and the state would reimburse the district $414,560.

Also, the bus garage needs to be remodeled or replaced and 15,395 square feet would be needed. The cost would be $2,519,699. The state would pick up $2,127,382 of that.

With the new amount of square footage available, it would either be a new elementary school or the academy, Washington Elementary improvements, Pioneer Elementary dining area or the bus garage.

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