GREEN RIVER– Lincoln Middle School hosted an open house last night to show off the renovations that have been completed in the seventh grade area of the school.
These renovations are part of a series of projects taking place to remodel the building.
Donna Little-Kaumo, SWCSD #2 Superintendent, said the Lincoln building was originally finished in 1975, making it a 44 year old building. The school was first built as the high school.
According to Little-Kaumo, it opened during a time of rapid growth. An addition was added to the building because of that growth and in the the 90s the school had to go into shifts to accommodate the high number of high school students at the time.
In January of 1998, the building was remodeled and Central Office was placed in the school. That wing is now serving as the 6th grade area.
In the fall of 1998, the building changed from the high school to the middle school, serving 6th through 8th graders. In 2003, the school started serving just 7th and 8th grade, and in 2018, the school started serving 6th grade again. They remodeled the current 6th grade wing in 2018 and it is in it’s second year of servicing 6th graders.
“There’s not much money left in the state anymore for capital projects but we really have a committed group of folks who want to ensure our buildings stay in great shape,” Little-Kaumo said. “So the school board approved a little more than $4 million to complete this project over two years. So this summer we attacked most of the seventh grade area”
Work was done in home economics rooms, the school was outfitted with new energy efficient windows and doors, LED lights were placed in the halls to be more energy efficient, the halls have new carpet, and there is new paint on the walls.
They also redesigned the placement of the lockers a little to make the halls wider.
“Children do better when they have space,” Little-Kaumo said. She added that research has shown that the quality of the building affects the children’s success.
“When buildings are well cared for, children do better. There’s something about the building being nice that kids feel more cared for in their successes,” she said.
The project was done in a collaborative effort between Groathouse Construction, Arete Design Group, and the SWCSD #2 Maintenance Department.
“The district, the contractor, and the architect work together as a team and they look for ways to design the building to meet everyone’s needs and to save money,” Little-Kaumo said.
Little-Kaumo noted that for the couple weeks before school started, the construction crews were working 24-hour days to get everything completed and ready for students.
The walls of the school are painted a variety of bright colors and the carpets have interesting designs that mark openings and turns in the halls to help students navigate their way through the school.
“Next summer we’ll finish it up,” Little-Kaumo said of the Lincoln improvements. “[The building] will be 45 years old and I believe with the way we take care of buildings up here, this building will have another 40 years of life in it.”