New North Park hosts ribbon cutting, tours today!

•North Park Ribbon Cutting, Open House & Tours: Aug. 12, 4-7 p.m. •Elementary School Open House: Aug. 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m. •Business After Hours at North Park: Aug. 16, 5-7 p.m.Completion of the renovation and addition at the elementary school comes less than two years after voters approved a $5.83 million bond. The project also includes about $200,000 in improvements that were funded solely by community donations through the Little Feet, Big Dreams campaign. “The new facility is designed to provide appropriate spaces for all students,” said elementary principal Kim Jonas. “The multi-purpose rooms allows for better PE scheduling and programming, as well as an indoor space for recess when we have inclement weather. Specialized intervention rooms allow for small group instruction for our primary and at-risk learners.” The North Park project included the addition of 10 new elementary classrooms, intervention rooms for specialized learning, a technology lab, a media center and office space. The bond financing also provided for new flooring and roofing for the existing building, a multi-purpose building and a complete renovation of the school’s existing cafeteria. The school, which formerly educated students kindergarten through second grade, will now be home to students kindergarten through fourth grade. Custer Elementary on the south side of Broken Bow had previously been used for third through fifth grades. That school will become Custer Intermediate School and will educate students in fifth and sixth grades. The moves ease overcrowding that had been seen throughout the district in recent years. Jonas said the school had especially seen the impact of overcrowding at the elementary level. “Increasing class sizes had utilized all available classroom space eliminating space for music and intervention classrooms,” she said. “And our most at-risk learners had no dedicated space for their unique learning needs—these students were being taught in hallways and storage areas.” Jonas said spaces in all areas were used to their maximum, and that made it difficult to provide all the services the students needed at North Park. “With the increasing classes we also had conflicts with the shared lunchroom with PE and music,” she said. The addition to the school means the old gymnasium becomes a dedicated cafeteria, and lunches don’t have to be planned for the space along with PE, music and special activities.