Elementary School Receives Much-Needed Addition - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Elementary School Receives Much-Needed Addition

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KALISPELL -  Olney Bissell Elementary School in Whitefish, held a special open house to celebrate addition of a multi-purpose room.

Students, teachers and members of the community, gathered Tuesday to celebrate the new expansion at Olney Bissell Elementary School.

"We're just thrilled because we've been longing to expand for years, we've hired architects and had many different kinds of plans but they were also unaffordable,"  Olney Bissell Principal Lona Everett said.

After years of not having enough money to expand the school, Everett contacted the Flathead Valley Community College to learn about their Building Trades Program. Since September, FVCC students have been  constructing a new multi-purpose room.

"Building the school for us and just being able to partner with them made it finically affordable it's a long time goal that we've been wanting,"  Everett said.

The school currently faces over-crowding issues for both teachers and students. The gym serves as the school's multi-purpose room during lunch-time, recess and even band class.

Art Teacher Ellen Szalay, said she struggles teaching art in the gym due to extra noise and student interference.

"Trying to have an atmosphere of a classroom it echoes and it affects the students learning with all of the sounds its such a distraction,"  Szalay said.

The 30x30 foot stand alone building will serve as a multi-purpose room for classes such as art, music and science.

The building will also include an office and extra storage space for teachers.
6th grade student Vivan Powell said she is excited to have her band class inside a normal classroom.

"It echoes a lot in the gym and often we have kids doing study hall, finishing homework or punishments so it will be nice to be on our own,"  Powell said.

Everett said she is grateful to the college for their hardwork and support. "I just want to thank Flathead Valley Community College and their building trades program. I want to thank Greg Waldrob who is the General Contractor and Instructor and the students who gave up their time,"  Everett said.

The building will be completed this fall, just in time for the next school year.

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