Remediating Asbestos Means Moving Students to 5 Non-school Buil - KOAM TV 7

Remediating Asbestos Means Moving Students to 5 Non-school Buildings in Yates Center


Asbestos concerns forced Yates Center Elementary to close early for the holidays. Now going back to school means heading to new buildings for those same students.

 Seventh graders get their social studies lesson now at the high school. Their new classroom is the concession stand. That is after asbestos was discovered falling from the elementary gym ceiling.
Superintendent Greg Brown explained, "It’s eighty-seven thousand dollars just to get it out. We'll have some updating in terms of replacing. It’s up there for an insulator, so we'll have to put some other insulation probably up there." The HVAC to the gym is off to prevent air transfer to classrooms but they evacuated students anyway.
Brown said, “Better safe than sorry. Need to just keep people away from it.”

For sixth  through eighth grade  students the temporary move means  no more changing classes. Hannah Jones, a  seventh  grader described it as, “Kind of like elementary. You went to your regular class and stayed there. For the most part, it’s been fairly easy. We'll get through it.”

"They get the long end of the straw. We got a couple other classrooms pretty tight,  small, cold,” explained

Social studies teacher Ben Wiehn.  He also said, “The middle school teachers, we don’t have a home classroom anymore. We're actually bouncing from classroom to classroom."

Second graders are across the street from the high school in St. Joseph’s catholic church. Third grade is in the Mason’s building with recess a block away behind the public library. Fourth graders are out at the Fairground’s community building. And fifth graders are in the 4h building. Teachers worked hard over the break to turn them into classrooms.

Fourth grade teacher, Jennifer Catron explained, "We chose to move pretty much our entire world. We didn’t want to get here and not have what we needed and not have what the kids were used to using so we chose to take the extra time to move a lot of things.”

All students start and end their day at the high school and most are also bussed there for lunch. Those at the church walk over to the high school.

Fourth grader Adalyn Jackson said it’s a lot of time on buses. "We do things at different times now, because sometimes we get behind schedule cause we have to take buses."

 Sections of same grade level are now together and the superintendent says that means lots of co-teaching. Something fourth grade teachers were already doing and find the joint rooms exciting.

Superintendent Brown added, "Teachers have been fantastic. (saying) Sure lets make it happen."
But even though the six weeks away from their school is just beginning, some things are missed already. Adalyn said, "I miss the playground and the library cause my favorite book series is there. "

All of the extra buildings' owners are allowing the district to use them rent free. Brown says the district will contribute to utility bills. But says the outpouring of support is typical of the kindness of the Yates Center community.


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