Over the next few weeks renovations will be made at the Pittsburg Community Middle School. The renovations will help students with autism gain life skills.
"Before, we were working around other teachers schedules in order to gain access to a kitchen or even the laundry facilities, and now we're going to have that all for ourselves and it's going to be really exciting for the kids as well as the staff," says Special Education teacher Shirley Williams.
Williams is a teacher for the Autism and Low Instance Disabilities Program and she says the need for the new laundry facility, full kitchen, and full bathroom is great.
The renovations will help the students with things like cooking and learning other life skills all to help them be a little more independent."
"This project we're doing in-house, our maintenance staff is doing all of the work and so it makes it a lot more affordable for the district to do those things," says USD 250 Superintendent Destry Brown.
"We serve special education for 13 different school districts in Southeast Kansas and we serve ages 3 through 21 and the focus of the program here with Shirley Williams is our middle school to high school aged students who are on the spectrum in some sort of way working probably on life skills more so than academics," says Dan Duling, the Director of SEK Interlocal 637.
While teaching the students math, science and social studies is important, Williams says it's all about preparing these students for the next stage of their lives.
"What that means is that they are going to be more reliant on themselves than on the adults that are caring for them and any time you can teach kids to be more independent, you can see when they learn a skill the excitement in their faces," says Williams.
The renovations are expected to be complete in the next few weeks, in plenty of time for students to be able to use the new facility in the 2013-2014 school year.