Administrators, principals, students and more came out for the ceremonial ground breaking of the new Poynette Elementary School on North Street Friday, May 3. The 89,500 square-foot building will be the new of kindergarteners through fourth graders beginning in August of 2020.

School Board President Kathleen Lucey said it was an exciting day for the district, one filled with new beginnings. She said this new $28.3 million addition will be built for the future of the district.

“It could not be possible without the support of our staff and our community and our parents and especially our students,” Lucey said. “That is the reason we are all here today, for these students and the future we are building for them.”

Classrooms of second-grade students, who will be some of the first students in the new building, showed up to participate in the ground breaking along with the staff, Findorff and the Puma mascot.

District Administrator Matt Shappell said this building will allows for Poynette to fully support 21st century teaching and learning and will help get their students ready for jobs and careers that don’t even exist yet.

“It’s an incredibly exciting day,” Shappell said. “It’s filled with promise. A generational solutional is going to be up on the hill to serve kids for generations to come.”

In the district’s currently facilities, he said they struggle with access to natural light and collaboration spaces. The new elementary will feature access to Science, Technology Engineering, Agriculture/Art and Math (STEAM) spaces, as well as large and small ground instruction areas and collaborative spaces.

The new building is expected to house around 400 students but Shappell said it is being built to expand in the future. The Arlington Elementary School will be phased out of classroom use. Fifth through eighth grades will be located at the current middle school.

With the new elementary school starting construction and Arlington set for a phase-out, students in lower grades will no longer travel to the high school to attend certain classes.

Other upgrades from the referendum include: safety and security upgrades at Poynette High School; general building improvements district wide; and updating STEAM classrooms and labs at the high school.

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