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Highland Elementary to expand

By Gabe Hewitt, iLander Student Editor

In order to keep up with a rise in student enrollment, Highland Elementary in Columbia Heights will be expanding. The groundbreaking for an addition to the school was held on June 5. It’s expected to be finished by December of this year.

The Columbia Heights School Board decided in October 2011 that Highland needed to be bigger. The goal of the project is to expand kindergarten and early childhood programs by providing more space for them. It’s also intended to lift the burden off of North Park Elementary in Fridley and Valley View Elementary in Heights, which have a full capacity of students.

According to Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren, the project is estimated to cost $2,950,000. 

School Board Member Missy Lee said the district is “busting at the seams. It’s a great problem to have.”

Many gathered at the groundbreaking, including Lee. Other school board members, Superintendent Kathy Kelly and Mayor Gary Peterson were also in attendance.

“We are growing,” Lee said, “and we know that it is important to listen to what the needs are for quality education.”

(Photo: Some elementary students attended the groundbreaking of the Highland Elementary expansion. Original photo by Kassie Petermann/Sun Newspapers.)