Northwest moves forward with building a middle school

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Northwest School Board voted to move forward to look into building a Northwest Middle School.

Right now Northwest Public Schools operate as a K-12 and they say they are doing a disservice to its' students.

The motion that passed was only to proceed with "looking into" a newly built free standing sixth to eighth grade middle school structure at the high school location.

Not everyone is in favor of the new middle school.

"Look, if we build this new middle school and three years down the road our north two buildings aren't full, we are not going to close the building we just built, that would be stupid," said Dan Leiser, opposed to middle school.

Despite the opposition the school board will now take the next steps in hiring an architect and a construction company to draft plans for the new Northwest Middle School.

"It would be great to not have to stretch our teachers and have them do multiple disciplines. Right now we have teachers that may be trained as a science teacher but they also have to teach math," said Superintendent Matt Fisher.

A major concern is the cost. A $16 million dollar bond issue is on the table as well as other revenue sources.

"All this revenue that we are going to get from opt-in kids, well that is great but you have to remember that is ,IF, we fill everything up," adds Leiser.

Student, Avyn Urbankski, who goes to Westridge School, lives directly across the street from the school is excited about the opt-in."

"I think it would be cool if they actually had a middle school because going to Grand Island Public School you are not guaranteed a spot at the high school but if they had a middle school I would be guaranteed and I wouldn't have to opt-in and not know if I have a spot or not."

The price tag attached of $16 million, if supported by a bond, would be spread out over 20 years.

Superintendent Fisher adds that the transition for kids from elementary school to high school is a difficult time. He says the middle school is needed because the kids need and deserve a transition period to put them in a place to succeed.