Grainger gains two first grade classrooms

Desks await students in one of two rooms added to Virginia Grainger Elementary School.

OKANOGAN – Construction on a two-classroom addition to Virginia Grainger Elementary School is pretty much done and youngsters are in the new rooms today, Aug. 29, for the start of the new school year.

The rooms are occupied by first-graders and their teachers, Anna Rawson and Kelsey Daniels.

A few minor construction items still need to be addressed, but otherwise the new rooms are done and “are beautiful,” said Superintendent Ashley Goetz. The project, at slightly more than $1 million, was paid for by a state grant.

Collaborative Construction Solutions, Grant’s Pass, Ore., did the work.

The addition faces South Fifth Avenue and is an extension of the first grade wing. With the expansion, the district has moved kindergarten classes out of the O’Keefe building and into the former first grade classrooms.

That brings all grades, kindergarten through fifth grade, together in the same building for the first time in decades.

The O’Keefe building, which housed kindergarten classrooms even before the current Grainger building was constructed in the early 1990s, now houses special services, including special education administrators, life skills and therapy.

Preschoolers also are in that building, Goetz said.

The new classrooms’ design is similar to existing classrooms.

A second addition is planned for the Grainger building, which was constructed so that additions could be made easily. That two-classroom addition will go onto the fifth grade wing.

Money from the voter-approved capital projects levy will pay for that addition.

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