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Elementary Schools in Lincoln Under Construction

Updated: Thursday, July 10 2014, 10:29 AM CDT

LINCOLN -- Every penny counts with state aid gutted, one local school district is putting the pennies from a one-cent sales tax increase there to work. Newschannel at Nine's Rebekah Thurston has the details from Lincoln.

The work continues.

The Lincoln School District is at it again to upgrade their elementary schools so they can provide the best learning environment possible for your kids.

When school lets out, the measuring, drilling, and hammering begins, as construction crews get back to work updating schools in Lincoln.

"We've been able to address building needs that were let go for many, many years," Mary Ahillen, Co-Superintendent of Lincoln schools.

This summer's main goal is to fix the roofs on Northwest and Washington-Monroe Elementary Schools, as well as, installing new ceilings and more secure windows and doors.

"We're looking at a brighter environment, a more positive place for kids," said Ahillen.

Another project, redressing their learning centers to be more current and colorful.

"We're looking at retro-fitting older buildings to be more current learning spaces," said Ahillen.

This past school year was the first for students and teachers to enjoy the fruits of last summer's labor: a new geothermal heating and cooling system.

"I always felt that we really missed out on two to three weeks of learning, you know, with the heat, during those first few weeks of school," Kate Ewing, 5th grade teacher at Washington-Monroe.

Teachers say it definitely made a difference.

"We were able to start teaching and learning right from day one, you know, you didn't have to plan for the heat to try to get into the library where there was an air conditioner, you could just go," said Ewing.

Superintendent Ahillen says the new system, is not just providing a better learning environment, but also reducing the school's utility bills and green thumbprint.

There is no sunset date for that one-percent sales tax that was passed two years ago, school administrators in Lincoln say they hope it will help them continue to afford upgrading these aging buildings.

You might remember that last year's renovations set the district back a couple days on the school calendar. Superintendent Mary Ahillen says this year will start on-time, but next summer, the district is set to add a new wing and more classrooms to northwest. We're told that could affect the start of classes.

Elementary Schools in Lincoln Under Construction

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