Salem Officials O-K renovation plans for East Salem Elementary - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Salem Officials O-K renovation plans for East Salem Elementary

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For students and teachers at East Salem Elementary school, its cramped quarters.  Kindergarten classroom are half the state recommended size forcing kids and teachers to use up every inch they can. Assistant Superintendent Mike Bryant says today's always improving teaching methods have outgrown these outdated building designs.

"Things have changed and with the use of computers and that type of thing it just takes up more space than what the equipment used to," Bryant said.

The classrooms aren't the only undersized part of the building. Getting to and from can be a tight squeeze even for the little ones.

One of the biggest problems right now is the size of hallway leading through the kindergarten and first grade classrooms. At only five feet wide, it can be especially difficult for handicapped students who may need wider spaces.

The new plans lay out how renovations will make these areas ADA accessible. Bryant walked WSLS through some of the changes.

"This is six feet across here if that much,” Bryant explained while pointing to the narrow space. “It will be an eight foot hallway which will make it about two-feet wider and make it much easier."

Plans also include building a new computer lab within the media center to save on classroom space and put a barrier between high traffic areas and reserved quiet space for reading.

"So now we have a few extra dollars in our capital reserve account so we want to remedy that situation," Bryant said.

The build of South Salem Elementary School went under budget, meaning that leftover money from that project can be used to fix existing problems at East Salem.

The School Board has approved $867,000 to complete the project.

It’s saved money that school leaders say will help build a better learning environment for students and teachers at East Salem Elementary School.

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