Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 2, 2014

Cherokee Elementary staff excited about renovations

TAHLEQUAH — With a trailer for a music room, an extra room being used as a pantry, and about 70 fifth-grade students being added next year, the staff at Cherokee Elementary School is looking forward to proposed building renovations.

Converting the current cafeteria into classrooms and building a new auditorium-like cafeteria with a stage are ideas being discussed.

“We’re excited about it for the students and staff,” said Lisa Presley, Tahlequah Public Sschools superintendent. “The facelift is overdue. The changes will make for a better workplace and learning environment.”

Architectural firms presented plans at the April TPS Board of Education meeting, and a decision should be made in the next couple of weeks.

Presentations from construction firms will be made at the May 12 TPS board meeting. No construction will begin this summer.

The school administrators have made plans to accommodate the fifth grade’s returning to the elementary school, but this leaves no extra rooms for outside agencies to come in for tutoring or counseling.

“We are always in need of extra space,” said Marissa McCoy, Cherokee Elementary principal. “We are fine now, but have nothing extra available. Plus, upgrades to the kitchen are needed now.”

Building the new cafeteria and renovating the current one are the main parts of the project. If budget allows, the fortified music room will be added on and it would be one of the first safe rooms in the district.

Because the architects and the construction firms have not be selected yet, it is too early to determine the projection of costs.

“It’s an improvement that I don’t know if we can measure,” said Presley.

sgourd@tahlequahdailypress.com

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