AMHERST — Amherst Public School K-12 students will soon all attend school in the same building.
Amherst voters approved a $9.1 million school bond in an election earlier this week.
The project at Amherst Public School will consist of new construction and renovation of current facilities. The addition will be about 51,801 square feet of new construction and 12,504 square feet of renovated areas. It will be built to meet the needs of the current student enrollment.
The bond passed with 340 votes for and 237 against.
“I’m pretty excited. It’s a lot of work ... since we unveiled it. The board has been working on it for the last 18 months. I came in February when I was hired and worked with (former Superintendent) Tom Moore. It has been a lot of work with a lot of people since February,” said Superintendent Matt Gordon.
Grades K-2 and the cafeteria currently are housed in a building across the street from the main building. Grades 3-12 have to cross a county road to go to the cafeteria for lunch while K-2 cross the road for physical education and music.
The project will allow K-12 to be in the same building and also would add a new kitchen and commons area in the main building. The addition will include a multipurpose room, two locker rooms and a wrestling room. It also would allow the school to expand the shop area, the music room and art room.
The addition and renovation will address other issues at the school including a sub-standard kitchen and food service space. A locker room is currently used for kitchen storage. The shop area will double in size, and there will be a classroom for ag and shop classes.
With grades K-12 in one building, the lower elementary school will be used for preschool. The ground breaking on the new addition is tentatively scheduled for April 2022.
“I want to give a big thank you to all the community members. It’s a big thing for the community of Amherst. School is the heart of the community in Nebraska,” Gordon said.