Last year in May, ground broke for a $25 million project to expand and renovate Three Forks Schools that have kindergarten through 12th grade all under one roof. Since then, construction has come a long way and teachers say they are excited for the upcoming school year.
K-5 reading and math teacher Sydney Houska said she can’t wait for the first day of school now that she’s seen the renovations.
“We have a nice new space for all of our students to come back to and be greeted with all this new fresh paint,” said Houska. “I'm also excited about having a new playground.”
7th grade English teacher Sandra Cutler said she feels the same way.
“In my old room, kids were really close together and had to squish,” said Cutler. “Having room for them is going to be really exciting.”
There is one week before school starts. Teachers and staff are allowed back into Three Forks Schools to get ready. For some, this is their first time seeing the renovations—and having a classroom in the building. Some were teaching in modular units because there weren’t enough classrooms.
Superintendent Rhonda Uthlaut says it hasn't been easy preparing for the return of students amid ongoing construction, but the work is worth it.
“I'm most excited about letting the community see that, yeah, this is Three Forks and we're super proud of what we have to offer,” said Uthlaut.
Additions to the school include a new elementary office, new classrooms, a new gym, kitchen, and playground. There are mechanical, electrical and plumbing updates to the building and the cafeteria is being renovated to hold more students.
“Those renovations are pretty well completed but we'll still be doing some painting and stuff over breaks and next summer,” said Uthlaut.
Rhonda says although it appears there is a lot left to be done, they are ready for students to return
“I've watched these people work magic over the days we've progressed this summer,” said Uthlaut. “We're absolutely confident we'll have everything ready for the kids.”