Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 9, 2004

HLWW plans to move elementary out of HL, OKs $300,000 in portable rooms

By Julie Yurek

Howard Lake Elementary students may be headed to a different school next fall.

The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board approved Supt. George Ladd to obtain quotes for portable classrooms for the elementary schools in Winsted and Waverly at the working meeting last Monday.

Eliminating Howard Lake Elementary and making each elementary K-5 "puts the district online with its goals of moving towards a middle school/high school combination," Ladd said.

Winsted Elementary will be preschool-5, and Humphrey will be K-5, if all goes according to plan.

The approximate cost of the project, also known as option one, is expected to be more than $300,000, which is for the portable classrooms, remodeling, and possible additional teachers that may be needed. There were four options for the board to choose from, with option one being the most expensive.

The money will come from the general fund, which will further tap the school's reserves, Ladd said after the meeting.

More teachers may be added for electives the board would like to add to the curriculum. One math teacher will be hired no matter what in order to fulfill "no child left behind requirements," Ladd said.

Option one calls for the equivalent of five portable classrooms at Winsted, and seven at Humphrey. The Howard Lake building would house preschool, grades six through 12, community education, and district offices.

Winsted Elementary would have one section each of grades preschool through fifth.

Humphrey Elementary would house the rest of the kindergarten through fifth grade sections.

Portable classrooms are a short-term fix, but they will likely be used for longer than two years, Ladd said.

The board agreed that the decision had to be made that night in order for the portables to be available to use next year. Board member Charlie Borrell expressed concern about making decisions at working meetings and not waiting until the regular meeting. "We don't want to set a precedent," he said.

The necessity of the timing dictated that a decision be made, said board member Dan Schaible.

This story was written with the assistance of Howard Lake Public Access videotape.

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