Back to School Night/Open Houses were held on Tuesday, August 10 with the first day of school taking place Thursday, August 12.
North Park Elementary Principal Kim Jonas told KCNI/KBBN she is excited to welcome kids back to school and for the preschoolers of New Discoveries Preschool to see their freshly completed building.
“We’re so excited to get kids in the building. I think one of the things I’m most looking forward to is just their faces when they come in and go ‘whoa, this is cool!’ So yeah, we’re excited,” Mrs. Jonas said.
Preschool teacher Ashley Holcomb was a para at the Custer building last year but now has a room of her own room this year and will teach 12 three-year-olds and 14 four-year-olds.
“I love how excited they are about everything and I love getting excited with them!” Miss Holcomb told KCNI/KBBN.
She will teach alongside teachers Jessica Gibbons and Stacie McMeen.
“It is so exciting and I am so blessed with the best coworkers. And I just can’t wait to have a new group of kids in here and see my kids from last year,” Miss Holcomb continued.
The preschool moved from Custer School and has been added to the north side of North Park Elementary. The new space allows for shared resources between the elementary and the preschool and brings long-term cost savings by condensing the number of buildings within the district. The addition to North Park features multiple offices, four classrooms, a sensory room, a speech room, storage, restrooms, and work space.
Chief Construction Project Manager Lynn Johnson oversaw the project and attended Tuesday’s open house.
“It went really well. We had some challenges with weather and obviously getting materials with COVID and the pandemic and everything, so there were some challenges we had to overcome. But everything really went well considering. We made the schedule and made the budget so it felt really good. Darren [Tobey] and everybody at the school, Kim [Jonas], everybody was really good to work with,” Johnson said.
District staff and school board members also welcomed the public to the open house and board member Pam Holcomb said it will be great to have all the young kids under one roof.
“Everything looks wonderful. I think it’s going to be just awesome to have our preschoolers in with our K through five. It will bring a whole bunch more cohesiveness to our whole program,” Holcomb said.
Kim Jonas said she gets nostalgic thinking of the Custer School being empty because she taught there for many years. The Sixpence program has also moved to North Park Elementary.
The preschool addition has been discussed by the school board since February 2019.