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A year of change for MPS

Facilities tour highlights school building projects at Park Side, MMS

Photo by Deb Gau MATEC Assistant Principal Amanda Pederson showed Marshall School Board members, including Sara Runchey and Matt Coleman, around the commons area of MATEC during a district-wide facilities tour on Monday. Board members made stops at all MPS schools, from Park Side Elementary up to Marshall High School.

MARSHALL — It’s been a busy year for facilities projects at Marshall Public Schools. While the biggest was the construction of a new elementary school on Southview Drive, there have also been changes like the new building addition at Park Side Elementary, and work to fill in the former swimming pool at Marshall Middle School. Members of the Marshall School Board got to see the construction at MMS and new preschool classrooms at Park Side as part of a facilities tour on Monday.

Board members checked in at each of the district’s school facilities, including Park Side, Southview Elementary, MMS, Marshall High School and MATEC.

“Marshall should be proud of their schools,” said school board chairman Jeff Chapman. “I’m very proud of our facilities and staff.”

Over the summer, work began to fill in the old swimming pool at MMS and put in a new floor, said Superintendent Jeremy Williams. The project was done with long-term facilities maintenance funds, said Dion Caron, director of business services at MPS.

The pool facilities dated back to the 1960s when the school building was constructed. They were closed down around 2007, and the pool area hasn’t been used since then, Caron said.

When school board members visited on Monday the pool was gone, although some parts of the facility were still the same, like the ceramic tile on the walls. Williams said additional work, like updating the HVAC system, was still planned for the former pool area. Possible uses for the rehabilitated pool area could include flexible learning or activities space, Williams said.

Early learning space

at Park Side

One building project that has made a big difference for early learners at MPS is the new building addition at Park Side Elementary. School board members toured new classrooms built for preschool and Early Childhood Family Education, as well as other renovations at Park Side.

The expansions at Park Side were part of the same building referendum that built Southview Elementary. The project made it possible for preschool and ECFE to move from space at the middle school over to Park Side.

“This is great,” Chapman said. “We’re happy to have all the early childhood learning in one building,” from preschool through first grade, he said.

Early childhood director Tiffany Teske said they were serving around 170 students, and ECFE classes were starting next week.

Some of the preschool classrooms board members toured on Monday were built in the expansion, while others were former second-grade classrooms. Part of the building expansion included an open multipurpose area. It’s a space that can be used for physical education, or social and emotional learning, Teske said.

In addition to the classroom expansions for early childhood education, Park Side also received some updates like new carpet, and dividing walls in the school’s former library area. With the new walls in place, Park Side has a dedicated room for student screenings and a new multipurpose room, in addition to the Innovative Learning Center classroom, said Park Side Principal Darci Love.

“It’s turned out very nice,” Love said.

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