Multiple small school districts in the northeast part of the state are either planning or in the middle of building projects.
The Warner school building isn't very old to begin with, and the district plans to add newer portions soon. Voters in the district approved a bond issue that will provide more than $2 million for a new gym and classrooms.
"I was optimistic this time that it was going to pass, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was that decisive with 76 percent in favor," superintendent Kirk Easton said.
The district plans to start construction this spring. In the small community of Ipswich, a school construction project is already underway.
"We will be in the high school next school year, beginning in August," superintendent Trent Osborne said.
Included in that new construction will be a 500-seat theatre, auxiliary gym, art room and new library. The district will revamp an existing building to be used as a middle school as well.
Ipswich used some money it had saved and borrowed the rest at a very low interest rate, making this a good time to start the $7.5 million project. Osborne isn't sure whether that is what's prompting other small districts to build now as well.
Leola should be finished with its $3 million construction project by spring. The school board voted to build because the old school building faced expensive repairs.
"It'll be very nice to be done and be able to use that facility," elementary teacher Holly Mueller said.
The new addition will include a multipurpose room that can serve as a gym.
"Both Mrs. Mueller and myself coach and I think that aspect of our job will be a whole lot easier when we have the two facilities to practice in," elementary teacher Terri Pleinis said.
New high school classrooms are already complete in the Leola project. Pleinis has worked many years in small districts and says the new construction isn't something common to her. She’s excited to enjoy it when the work is complete.
Other small districts are in the middle of construction projects as well, including Gettysburg and Selby. Selby is also enjoying a low interest rate on its new $4 million high school.