Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 22, 2014

Tahlequah Public School plans new cafeteria at Cherokee Elementary

TAHLEQUAH — When Tahlequah Public Schools set in motion the reconfiguration of its elementary sites, it revealed another issue the district wanted to address.

Moving the fifth grade back to the elementary schools will increase enrollment by dozens of students at each school. TPS recognized the addition of students will create some strain at Cherokee Elementary.

“This plan for Cherokee came out of the elementary reconfiguration discussion,” said Lisa Presley, TPS superintendent. “This was one of our discoveries during a year of study by the committee.”

TPS wants to convert the Cherokee cafeteria into classroom space and build a new cafeteria.

“They will need the room,” Presley said. “The cafeteria at Cherokee is almost identical to the one at Sequoyah Elementary. It can serve about 200 at a time. Cherokee might be able to limp along with that for a short time, but ultimately, it won’t be adequate.”

The planning is in the earliest stages; Presley was to discuss opening the bidding process at a Tuesday meeting with district staff. But TPS envisions a new cafeteria with double the seating capacity, similar to the new cafeteria at Greenwood Elementary.

“Another negative of the Cherokee cafeteria is the kitchen,” Presley said. “It is one of the smallest in the entire district. It is also outdated, with a limited capacity to prepare meals and meet the needs of the child nutrition program.”

Presley said any construction would probably last until the start of the 2015-’16 academic year.

“We still haven’t set any deadlines, but obviously sooner is better,” she said. “We have talked about completing the work by this fall, but that seems unlikely. We’re thinking next fall [2015] is more realistic.”

Marissa McCoy, Cherokee principal, said the school would “make do” through the 2014-’15 year.

“We will still have the ability to meet the needs of our students, but we will lose a lot of space,” McCoy said. “We’ll be full. The construction will give us some more room.”

New construction will house the cafeteria, while the old dining space will be converted to classrooms.

“It is yet to be determined, but we are looking at placement of the cafeteria to the north of the building, perhaps to the northeast,” Presley said. “We want to capture space for two classrooms, perhaps three. They will similar in size to other classrooms at Cherokee, capable of handling a class of 20-plus students.”

The project may also work on the building’s interior and exterior.

“The windows on the west side of the building are due for an update,” Presley said. “They are probably the windows that were originally installed. Replacement will improve the building’s efficiency and aesthetics. There is also paneling all through the building that we would like to remove - some, if not all. We’ve been kidding around that we must have gotten a bargain on paneling sometime during the 1970s.”

Because the Cherokee renovation is a nascent project, Presley could not provide its cost. However, she said the district hopes to spend roughly the same amount of money as on the cafeteria renovation at Greenwood Elementary, which cost $2.3 million.

“No new sources will be needed to pay for the project,” she said. “The bond fund passed by voters in 2009 still holds enough money.”

McCoy said parents should anticipate some inconveniences during the construction once it begins - the school board must approve any bids - though the district will try to minimize them.

“Mostly, we just ask that parents be patient,” she said. “The construction will go on for a while, but it will be for the kids. I’m not sure what the delays might be, but it could involve pickup or bus lines. However, once it is over, it will be fantastic.”

srowley@tahlequahdailypress.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn cvbc fire.jpg Church catches fire after burglaries

    Authorities are looking for the person accused of breaking into the Crescent Valley Baptist Church two times this week and likely causing a fire that damaged the youth building early Wednesday morning.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw Humane photo.tif More volunteers needed to house strays, help with spay-and-neuter

    Furry friends may seem like the perfect addition to round out a family.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marijuana, seeds lead to four arrests

    Four people were arrested on marijuana related charges early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop on South Muskogee Avenue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Sex offender found living in tent at river

    Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators arrested a convicted sex offender this week when they discovered he has been living in a tent along the river.

    July 24, 2014

  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Stocks