More on the proposed new Pinedale Elementary School
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
November 14, 2007
Recently, some citizens have asked the members of Sublette County School District #1 if there can be more public input into the discussions about the plans for building a new elementary school on the west side of Pinedale. The School Board had indicated they wished to start breaking ground soon on a new school because of the present overcrowding and increasing student numbers. Several locations have been proposed, including within the new BloomField subdivision on the Northwest side of Pinedale, east of Ehman Lane.
Typically, when a school district wants to build a new school, they must take their case in front of the voters and get a bond passed to fund the project. Because Sublette County is rich and has revenue from the mineral extraction industry in the county, the school board did not need to go to the voters to ask for funding for the new school, thus skipping having to go through the high degree of public scrutiny of the proposal.
The idea has been asked why not keep the younger kids in the existing set of building complexes and build a new larger high school at the outlying location instead? This would keep the younger kids in the same general location and move the more mobile high school students to the outer location.
The School Board has not made a final decision that the new building will be an elementary school. “The board has said we will build a new elementary school by the bus barn, but it appears they are rethinking that decision,” said Vern McAdams, Business Manager for Sublette County School District #1. The meeting on the 19th is open to the public. The School Board is considering the recommendation of the committee and also listening to public input.
The school board is anticipating needing to build a new high school not long after building this planned new elementary school. “We do need to address space issues in the high school,” said McAdams. They are looking at using modular units for next year. The administration and board will be discussing this further in the future to determine their building and land requirements for each age group and school. Another short-term option will be to begin using classrooms where the teachers do not have a class and rotate use. For example, when one teacher has their prep period, a different teacher uses that classroom.
The public is encouraged to attend the school board facilities committee meeting on Monday, November 19, at 6:00 pm in the Pinedale Administration building school board meeting room for anyone interested in hearing these discussions and having input into the decision-making process.