May 29, 2024

Ashby School receives overhaul in time for the new school year

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Jake Sias

Grant County Herald

As the new academic year draws near, Ashby school building is set and ready for the incoming students with an extensive array of improvements, reflecting a robust investment in the education and future of its approximately 315 students. Funded by a $5.9 million bond and supported by levies, the thrifty use of the school district’s long-term facility maintenance funds, and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, the improvements encompass a wide range of areas, from classrooms and athletic facilities to safety measures and energy efficiency.

Improvements to the educational infrastructure are highlighted by the addition of two new wings to the school. In the northern section, students will find new classrooms for English, math, science, and special education. High school students will also benefit from a brand-new science lab. The southern section’s additions include two new classrooms, one designated for kindergarten and the other for preschool, each equipped with bathrooms.

Along with these classroom enhancements, athletic and extracurricular facilities have been revamped. An old weight room has been transformed into a music room, while two old classrooms that were part of an older renovation have been converted into the new weight room. 

A new mechanical control system, a condensing boiler, and air conditioning have been installed to provide the gym, music rooms, and ag classrooms with better climate control throughout the school year. The ag shop, vital for vocational training, has been modernized with new venting for welding, ensuring compliance with safety standards.

Aiming to reduce the energy footprint, solar panels have been installed on the varsity gym roof. These panels, financed through grant money, mark an environmentally conscious step by the school. The electricity generated is expected to cut annual energy costs by an estimated $7000-$8000.

Safety and traffic flow have also been prioritized in the renovation project. Parking lots have been expanded and repainted to allow a safer flow of traffic, potentially reducing the risk of accidents. Further enhancing safety, a more comprehensive security system has been installed, including secured entrances.

One of the more subtle yet significant aspects of the renovation is the cohesive aesthetic created throughout the building. The hallways have been repainted, and new flooring has been installed in both old and new sections of the school. These visual upgrades contribute to a more welcoming and harmonious atmosphere.

With the larger building, the school now has the capacity to house an elementary, middle, and high school within its walls. In line with the expansive renovations and the renewed vision for education in Ashby, the school has also changed its motto to “Aim High.”

Community members, parents, and school officials alike are expressing optimism that these improvements will foster a conducive learning environment. The wide-ranging upgrades and additions symbolize not just a physical transformation but also resonate with the school’s renewed vision, ambition, and commitment to educational excellence. As students return to the school, they will be greeted with a facility that has been thoughtfully designed to meet their academic, extracurricular, and social needs.

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