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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • New classrooms added at Warren Middle School

  • With an anticipated increase of about 200 students, Richard W. Warren Middle School was in need of additional classrooms for the coming school year.
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  • With an anticipated increase of about 200 students, Richard W. Warren Middle School was in need of additional classrooms for the coming school year.
    "It was a lot of work to get done this summer," said Matt Dedeke, the school district's director of facilities.
    But, he said the new classrooms will be ready when classes begin next month.
    Five additional classrooms have been constructed at the school, even though the building hasn't increased its square footage.
    Three of the new classrooms were created by building walls in what had been open common areas within the school's classroom pods. The remaining two classrooms were built in an area that had been part of the school's library.
    Even though it has changed in size, the school still has a library.
    The middle school will be increasing its student body from 445 this past school year to about 650 when classes begin Aug. 11.
    That's because a grade level is being added.
    Warren previously served students in seventh and eighth grades. But, sixth-grade classes now will be housed there as well.
    The change comes after the Leavenworth School Board voted in March to close West Intermediate School at the end of last school year.
    The move was part of an effort to cut more than $1 million from the 2014-15 budget.
    West served the district's fifth- and sixth-grade students.
    Fifth-grade classes now will be spread out among the district's four elementary schools.
    In addition to creating new classrooms, there have been other renovations at the middle school this summer, including the creation of a new office.
    "We've handled it mostly with contractors," Dedeke said.
    He said the renovations incorporated things district officials already had planned to do at the middle school, and money was set aside for the projects.
    The renovations have included improvements to restrooms and upgrades to the school's intercom system. He said additional security cameras have been installed.
    Concrete work on the outside of the building also was included in the renovations.
    The price tag for the projects at Warren is $264,674.
    Warren Principal Leeann Fitzgerald said she's impressed with how the new classrooms turned out.
    "They're very, very nice," she said.
    Dedeke said each of the classrooms that were created within the classroom pods is about 900 square feet.
    The classrooms have walls that do not extend all the way to the ceiling.
    Dedeke said extending the walls to the arched ceilings would have added to the expense of the project.
    He said sound proof panels can be added to classrooms if needed to address problems with noise once the school year starts.
    Page 2 of 2 - The classrooms that were constructed in the area of the library are each about 800 square feet.
    One project that won't be completed when school starts next month is the expansion of bleachers.
    "We're going to increase the seating capacity," Dedeke said.

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