After a week of school, Nicholasville Elementary leaders say the split of sending primary students off-site and keeping intermediate students in-house during a renovation has gone well without any major problems.
The main school building at 414 W. Maple St. in Nicholasville was first constructed in 1943. Students in first, second and third grades are attending school in the “primary center” off Wilmore Road while a comprehensive renovation is completed this year.
Assistant principal Sara Crum is in charge at the primary center, which is in the easternmost portion of the Jessamine Early Learning Village building. Crum said drop-off and pick-up procedures have gone smoothly and that the 377 students in 17 classrooms are doing well in the new arrangement.
The only minor hiccup at the primary center has been a backup at meal times, Crum said, but the staff did some trouble-shooting Tuesday and made some plans to eliminate the problem.
“We’ve worked everything out with lunch, and we’re doing much better with it,” Crum said. “Breakfast has been a challenge; we’re actually starting this week to bring breakfast into the pods because we’re having a backup out there (in the hallway).”
The primary center has a gym that also doubles as the cafeteria. Primary students are transported by shuttle bus to the main school building for library and technology.
Some of the school’s staff are also traveling between buildings, including specials teachers, intervention teachers, the family-resource-center director and counselor and some instructional assistants.
At the main building, fourth- and fifth-grade students are in classrooms near the front of the building with the regular administrative areas during phase one of the renovation. Classrooms and offices will move to the rear part of the building in the spring while the front area is renovated. The library, gym, cafeteria and family resource center will be available throughout the school year and will be the last areas to be renovated over the summer.
“We have been fortunate to be able to continue use of our gym and cafeteria,” said principal Karen McGuire. “Our district staff, architects, and contractor have worked really hard to make it possible for us to conduct school under the most normal circumstances possible.”
McGuire said the biggest challenge at the main building so far has been having to stay out of the building for several weeks in the summer.
“Our teachers are always so anxious to work in their classrooms during the summer months, and it was really hard to stay away — knowing how much work was going to need to be done in the last few days before school started,” she said.
Since students have returned, the hardest part of dealing with the renovation has been getting used to taking different routes to the gym and cafeteria, McGuire said.
The principal said that earlier start and end times — 7:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. for primary and 7:45 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. for intermediate — have not caused any problems.
The school will still come together as one for assemblies every nine weeks and its regular fall festival.