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Southview on schedule to open in fall, superintendent says

MPS board takes a peek inside new school

Photo by Deb Gau Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams, at left, walked members of the Marshall school board and school district staff through a second-floor hallway in the new Southview Elementary. Walls and floors are in place at the new school, and painting work is in progress. Williams said the current target date to move into Southview is in July.

MARSHALL — Marshall’s new elementary school project has come a long way over the winter months, Superintendent Jeremy Williams said Monday.

From the outside, much of the masonry on the building is complete, right down to decorative patterns in the brick along one wall. Inside the school, floors and walls are in place, and crews continue to paint, add ceilings and fixtures, and do electrical work.

“A lot of the classrooms on the first floor are painted, and some of the classrooms on the second floor,” Williams said, as he helped lead a construction tour for school board members and school staff.

Southview Elementary will serve students in grades 2-4, replacing the current West Side Elementary location on South Fourth Street.

“We had a really good winter for construction,” Williams said.

The construction progress at Southview Elementary should allow for West Side Elementary staff to move into the new school in July, according to Williams. The original timeline called for the new school to be ready for fall classes.

While there are still uncertainties about what kind of COVID-19 guidelines might be in place this summer, the school district’s goal is to hold a public open house during Sounds of Summer in August, Williams said.

“We think it will be a good weekend,” when people will be able to stop by the new school, he said. It would also go along with plans for an open house at the renovated Marshall City Hall, which is planned to be finished this summer.

Williams walked school board members through Southview, from classroom areas to offices and facilities like the library and gymnasium.

“The classrooms are slightly bigger than what we have right now,” Williams said. The classrooms at Southview Elementary are also a little more square-shaped than the long rectangular rooms at West Side.

When the school building is finished, several key areas like the main entrance, cafeteria and library will all have large windows, he said. In the library’s case, the windows will be paired with a two-story ceiling, and some second-floor language classrooms will have windows overlooking the library.

“The idea is to get natural light as far into the building as possible,” Williams said.

Although the gymnasium is a long way from looking finished at the moment — there aren’t elements like basketball courts or bleachers in place — Williams encouraged people on the tour to think of what it will be like when finished. One wall will have a “rock climbing” feature, and there will be two basketball courts, and bleachers on two sides of the gym. The bleachers will make it possible to hold sports games and other events in the gym, Williams said.

On Monday, construction crews started grading work for the bus lane and drop-off area outside the school. “They’re kind of working from the back (of the school) toward the front,” Williams said.

Currently, the goal is for school staff to move into Southview Elementary over the summer, and be ready for the 2021 school year. Williams said the district has until September to move out of and decommission West Side. Before then, it’s likely the school district will have some kind of outdoor garage sale for the public, Williams said.

The Lyon County Museum has already visited West Side and picked out some artifacts to preserve from the building, he said.

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