Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 9, 2016

Work continues at Stewart School

By XIOMARA LEVSEN Golden Triangle News Service | Nov 08, 2016

WASHINGTON, Iowa (GTNS) – The finishing touches are being done at the Early Childhood Education Center at Stewart Elementary.

By the end of November, staff will be moving into their new classrooms.

“Occupancy will be way ahead of schedule,” said Washington superintendent Jeff Dicks, “from [when] they originally told us in January. This is just not typical, that your projects get done sooner rather than later.”

There are still a few contractors onsite putting the final touches on projects with the building.

“It’s wrapping up quickly,” Dicks said. “There were some painters doing touch-up work. There [are] punch list items to be done — a lot of stuff like that.”

The flooring was completed last week but still needs to be waxed, he said.

The date for when students will be in the preschool classrooms hasn’t been finalized yet. Stewart principal Adam Miller is looking at the calendar to see when it would be best for teachers to get set up. There is no school Nov. 28, so that may be the day.

“Even though they don’t work that day, he might be able to [do it then],” Dicks said.

The demolition of Stewart West and the driveway for the child care center won’t be finished until next spring. Dicks said he doesn’t believe the Y will move its child care center there until this is done.

“[But] I think they will be happy in their new space,” he added.

The educational environment will change for the preschoolers at Stewart West because they won’t have to travel across the playground to get to the main building.

“We include them in everything, but it’s still different,” Dicks said. “It feels different — ‘Now, you are a part’ — and I think that will be the biggest thing people [and] kids will probably feel.”

The preschoolers will also see what happens at the elementary school more now because they will be in the main building, he added.

This Wednesday, school board members will tour the building for the first time.

“I’m so excited,” said Washington board member Sonia Leyva. “It’s been such a long process. When you see it on paper it’s one thing, but when you see it in person it’s different.”

Leyva is also excited for the convenience this will provide to families in the community.

“It will be like a one-stop shop,” she said. “Parents can drop off their upper elementary students and their preschool students at the same place — that’s going to be so helpful.”

Board president Eric Turner is also excited to see what the set-up will be for the preschool area.

“It will be interesting to see the design of the space for the preschool and the child care and how that blends into the main building,” Turner said.

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