Longfellow Elementary gets ready for their final year in temporary location

Students are getting ready for the last year in the temporary Longfellow Elementary School location. (KSNB)

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Longfellow Elementary School students will be filing in to their temporary location at Morton Elementary Thursday morning. Even with the change in buildings they are still focusing on their key lessons.

“When new parents and families come to our school, we want to emphasize that we teach our students how to be good people and we teach them that kindness and compassion mean a lot in this world,” Principal Irina Erickson said.

Last year, Longfellow moved into Morton while their own building is being renovated. They lost about 100 students after the move because some programs had to change locations and Alcott Elementary had completed their remodel.

“But our hope is when we go back to the building that we will gain the students back and we will again be a three section building,” Erickson said.

They had to drop down to two section classes for the first time in several years. But the new superintendent says things will be okay once they move into their new building next year.

“We're not worried about the enrollment at Longfellow,” Superintendent Jeff Schneider said. “We've got a very strong kindergarten enrollment this year and I think probably what we saw last year was just a unique situation because of the change of address.”

Morton Elementary will be empty once Longfellow moves out and Hastings Public Schools is still figuring out what to do with the building.

“I know one thing we do not want to have is a building right in the center of our community that is idle and becomes run down,” Schneider said. “We want to make that a very effective, very nice looking building that is being utilized by our school district.”

There will be public meetings to get suggestions on what taxpayers think it should be used for. HPS is considering opening Morton up to be used as a preschool, move their administration offices there, or even a combination of the two. They hope to hold those public meetings some time during this school year.