Photo by Nathan Grimm
A worker moves some dirt — or rather, mud — around Tuesday at the site of the new Roxana Junior High School gymnasium. Ground was broken on the estimated $4.2 million project in late July, with district officials hopeful the gym will be ready for use by the 2017-18 school year.
ROXANA — A new administrator isn’t the only thing coming to the Roxana School District this year.
The district’s newly constructed Early Childhood Center at South Primary School will be open for the 2016-17 school year, the first year for the new addition. The new elementary school configuration includes pre-kindergarten through second grade at South Primary School and third grade through fifth grade at Central Intermediate School.
With the change in configuration will come a change of mascot, according to Roxana Superintendent Debra Kreutztrager.
“This is an exciting year of new beginnings for the Roxana School District,” Kreutztrager said in an email. “All schools pre-k through 12th grade will now be identified with the Shell mascot. Our district is unified in our vision of Achieving Excellence with Passion, Pride, and Partnership and we are unified as being uniquely ‘Shells.’”
Workers broke ground in late July on the junior high’s new gymnasium as well. The estimated $4.2 million project, which will be completed by Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, has been in the works since 2009, when the district’s Facility Planning Committee identified the need for a new building, Kreutztrager said.
A finance committee in 2012 ranked the district’s facility needs, and a new gymnasium was prioritized behind only the installation of air conditioning at the junior and senior high schools and completion of the Early Childhood Center. The gym is expected to be ready for the start of the 2017-18 school year.
Once completed, the gym will offer much-needed additional space for not only the junior high but for all district students, Kreutztrager said.
“With only two gymnasiums in the district, this addition has been greatly needed,” she said. “Students in grades 6-8 will not have to utilize the high school gymnasiums for P.E. or athletics. Athletic feeder programs will have access to the spaces, alleviating late night practices for elementary students.”
A new concession stand also will be up and running for athletics this fall, Roxana High School Principal Jason Dandurand said.
A stone’s throw from the new gymnasium and concession stand, new tennis courts at the high school are “on the horizon” as well, according to Dandurand. Byrne & Jones Construction will replace the existing tennis courts at the school, including new fencing, netting, hitting board and additional sidewalks and gates. Kreutztrager said the $350,000 project could be completed by the first week of October, weather permitting.