Tour renovated Northside during open house

Claudia Loucks
Northside principal Alex Kashner points to the words on the wall between the school cafeteria and collaboration room. The words were submitted by students and staff when asked ‘what word describes Northside,’ and then incorporated into the 
interior décor of the new addition to the school.

Students and staff at Northside Elementary School want area residents to see what they believe is “cool, safe, exciting, fun” and more.

Those are a few of the words used to describe their recently renovated school. The descriptive words are incorporated on a mural between the new cafeteria and collaboration room.

The public is invited to an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, to see the extensive renovations and additions made to the school in the last 15 months.

The $3.9 million dollar project is part of district-wide ProjectLEAF construction and renovation.

Construction on the Northside School addition began in June of 2016 and has added more than 40 percent to the original 1961 building.

The additions include a new kitchen, cafeteria, collaboration lab, art and music classrooms, student restrooms, courtyard designed for pre-school and kindergarten use and an off-street parking lot.

Alex Kashner, who is in his sixth year as Northside principal, said he is “thoroughly impressed with the new spaces for students.”

“Seeing students utilize the spaces has been incredible for me. Students and teachers have room to effectively teach and demonstrate 21st Century skills and seeing the learning in action has been incredible,” he said.

The second phase of the project at Northside got underway in May of this year and included an interior remodeling that was completed right before school started in August.

The remodeling project included a new front awning and signage, a safe double door entry way, upgraded main office, a doubling of the nurse’s area, new staff work and lunch rooms, problem solving areas for staff to work with students, remodeled gym, and new lighting, flooring and ceilings throughout the hallways.

“Right when you walk in the building, it is a much more inviting experience for our students and guests,” Kashner said. “The work in the hallways has made a tremendous impact with the entire building being brighter and more welcoming.”

He said the addition and remodeling “have truly transformed Northside and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear someone compliment the work that ahs been done. We are incredibly grateful for our community support to allow these changes for our students.”