Predictable enrollment growth creates construction and renovation

KPS Growth (KHGI)

Driving around the tri-cities, there's construction crews at multiple schools, and Kearney is no different.

As the Kearney population continues to grow, so does enrollment in the public school system, said the Kearney Public Schools superintendent, Kent Edwards.

"The two percent growth that we've experienced over the number of years is almost ideal," said Edwards.

Edwards said this consistent growth helps create new opportunities for students and allows the school to plan in advance.

"If there is a burst of growth, lets say five, six percent, it's very difficult to stay up with that in terms of your facilities, staff size,"said Edwards. "This has been predictable, I believe our board is well informed with it and has had a good facility plan."

As seen this summer, that plan oftentimes includes building expansions and renovations.

"We added a third unit at Buffalo Hills Elementary and that's going famously,"said Edwards. "So, we'll be welcoming even more students there and any overflow students that we have will attend Buffalo Hills Elementary."

Northeast Elementary School is undergoing a two–year, two–phase growth project.

"We will soon be opening the new sections meaning the gymnasium and then we will move into that, into the recently completed portion of that," said Edwards.

However, that will be happening just a couple days behind schedule.

" the scope of the work was ambitious and so we're looking forward to having that completed, but the it takes time for cleaning, moving making it safe and orderly so we're going to allow two additional days for those teachers to prep their classrooms for teaching and learning."

Northeast elementary students will be heading back to school on Monday August 20.

Edwards said the remaining classrooms there will be renovated over the course of the next year with hopes of completing those rooms by August 2019.

To follow this story and all of Jessica Stevenson's Back To School coverage, find her on facebook and twitter.

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