The Elk Point-Jefferson School Board has again tabled a proposal from ISG, Inc. for facilities upgrades.

At its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 13, the board heard additional information on per-student square footage recommendations. ISG representatives were helping the board try to reconcile why the 1997 construction, originally touted to be large enough to accomodate 1,000 students, is now full in some areas with just over 700. ISG computed the square footage of the original 1997 plans, for 52 classrooms, and compared it to the final square footage, 45 classrooms. The number of classrooms today remains at 45, but with smaller class sections, particularly in the elementary and middle school, the space is feeling cramped. Another consideration is the current need for additional, non-classroom space for Title I, occupational and speech therapy and a sensory room. Three current classrooms are used for these spaces.

A proposed new middle school would add 12,500 sq. ft. to the current 144,296 sq. ft. and allow the current middle school to be repurposed for restrooms and office space displaced by the kitchen and lunchroom expansion. Plans also call for repurposing 14,600 sq. ft. in the current middle school and hallways.

However, board members questioned why the new middle school has only 10 classrooms, just two more than it currently has. ISG said the classrooms are larger, and the hallway is wide enough to serve as a gathering place, or break-out area. Middle School/High School Prinicipal Skyler Eriksen said its location, connected to the south side of the high school, means that some high school space can be shared with middle school students. It will also allow more collaboration between middle and high school staff.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.