CLINTON – Clinton School broke ground Monday on a $4 million improvement project that will bring the school a new gym and classrooms to campus.
Voters in Clinton had approved a $4 million bond approved in November that allows the school to complete the much-needed project which is hoped to be finished by Christmas.
“Very excited. It’s something that’s been a long time coming. I think the last update we did to the school was 1972 or 76 somewhere around there,” fourth grade teacher Tim Rose said. “So, longer ago then I have been alive.”
“It’s something that like I said that has been a long time coming and it will be a great addition to the community and the kids as you can see we’re very excited for it,” he added.
Clinton currently only has one gym that doubles as the school’s cafeteria — something that gym teachers and school coaches say cuts into their activity time.
“They have 10 minutes to clean up from lunch before my next PE class comes in — and so that also limits opportunities for our students,” Physical Education teacher Melissa Hallgren explained.
“Often times they either need to help clean or they need to just wait until it’s done or we are even down to even half of the gym which is already a small gym,” she added.
“Yeah, cause we have to have the cafeteria as well,” seventh grade student Dillon Gunlock told MTN News.
“One gym class, they have to end class early to set up for lunch,” added fellow seventh grade student Isabella Chinikailo.
That gym — plus the classrooms — are very important to the school so PTA members put a lot of effort into trying to get the community to approve the bond.
“We spent money donating signs for the project and we also did a Facebook Q and A with Dan Mcgee who is the project coordinator,” said Season Hollaway with the PTA. “And we had people watching it live and so they could ask questions and then we did several mailers to promote the project.”
The vote to fund the project wasn’t even close as it passed with 61% of the vote, something that school officials say shows how much the Clinton community cares about its school.
“I think this community is amazing and they are so excited about this and this next step. Many of these people have been here for generations and so talking about when they went to school here and how it’s going to look now for their grandkids and we have got a lot of excited community members,” Clinton Principal Ms. McGill said.
The project will take place in three phases with the hopes of having the first phase completed by the beginning of the school year.