Altoona schools on track for changes - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Altoona schools on track for changes

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An area school may be adding more classrooms, and it will be done without lengthy construction.

The Altoona High School is currently sharing its building with the Altoona District Offices.

 Now, pending final approval, the school board is looking to purchase a home next door to the school. The superintendent says with some minor renovations, the home will be able to house the district offices as well as a conference room. Both are currently located in the high school and removing them would free up space for additional classrooms, which are badly needed.

The discussion about the property came up before the house was even for sale because we're so crowded here. In the next few years I think Altoona is going to keep growing. So we need to meet the needs for now, we're overcrowded now. But also meeting the needs for five, ten years down the road," says Connie Biedron, Altoona Superintendent.

The final purchase of the home will need approval from Altoona residents. It is listed for sale at $155,000. The school board will hold a special meeting on September 16th where citizens will cast votes for or against the purchase.

Overcrowding isn't limited to the high school Superintendent Biedron says the elementary and middle schools are experiencing the same problem, which means it's time to start planning for the future.

"We have a facilities committee that is looking at all of our facilities and options for the future. We've had a demographic survey done, we've had a facilities study done and we are putting together a community survey. What would the community support for our students for the future?" Biedron says.  

The school board has seven different options they are looking at.  Option one would build a brand new, 42,000 square foot facility, which would be shared by elementary and middle school students.

Another option would add 80,000 square feet to the current elementary school. A portion of the existing building would be remodeled and connected to the middle school.

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