Students at Tempe’s Scales Elementary School will move up to middle school a little sooner than they expected — but the move is temporary.
In February, the entire school will move into a facility created out of modular classroom units on Gililland Middle School’s property while Scales undergoes major renovations.
The units typically are the size of a normal classroom, will have storage space for teachers and even have a stucco facade.
A playground and separate parking area will be added and the entire area will be fenced off from the middle school.
It’s the first school to receive a face-lift after voters approved a $64 million bond last year to renovate all of the schools in the Tempe Elementary School District over the next 20 years, said Susan Halt Maas, executive director of development, planning and outreach for the district.
Scales — built in 1969 —isn’t the oldest school in the district, but was chosen first because it’s only a single building on a 6-acre piece of property, Halt Maas said.
“It’s going to be cheaper to tear it down and rebuild it to our standards,” she said.
Normally, the district would have considered creating the newer building next to the old facility and allow the students to continue class in the old building, but there wasn’t enough room.
Students and faculty also had to move off the property because of construction hazards, she said.
Most Scales students walk to school, but now the district will transport them by bus to Gililland each day.
The new Scales campus is expected to open for students in the fall of 2008 with a twostory building and separate dining and PE facilities. It will be the first two-story school in the district, said district spokeswoman Monica Allread.
The last “new” school was built in 1979, she said.
Thew and Holdeman elementary schools will be up next for renovations, but depending on architect evaluations, the changes could be less dramatic, Holt Maas said.
“We’re very excited (to rebuild),” she said. “We believe by rebuilding Scales school and all the schools in this bond, we’re going to provide a much better teaching and learning environment for all the children.”
What: Meeting about Scales Elementary School renovation
When: 6:30 p.m. today
Where: Scales Elementary School, 1115 W. Fifth St., Tempe
Information: (480) 929-9909