Construction on the first phase of a much-needed addition to Tremont Elementary School has begun with a groundbreaking ceremony held this week.
Tremont students and teachers as well as district officials and a team from Columbus construction company Elford Inc. gathered outside behind the school building, where the addition will rise. Principal Brett Gambill led the students in a countdown before he, Superintendent Paul Imhoff, Board of Education President Nancy Drees and other school employees and district officials plunged golden shovels into the soil.
“We are so excited to have construction underway,” Gambill said. “This new space will help us further enrich the already-great educational experience our students receive at Tremont. We can't wait for it to be finished!”
Just five years ago, Tremont served about 530 students. During the 2014-2015 school year, more than 600 students walked through Tremont’s doors each day. In less than ten years, that number is projected to grow to more than 650.
Gambill says the staff has worked hard to make good use of every available space in the school. For example, to increase academic space, staff areas such as the copy room and conference space have been moved out of the building into a modular unit on the lawn.
The first phase of the addition will include classroom space and a new media center. The second phase of construction, which will begin in the summer of 2016, will renovate the music area, transform the existing gymnasium into a multi-use cafeteria space, convert the existing cafeteria into a new main office with a secure entrance and add new gymnasium.
The Tremont Elementary School addition comes at the same time as projects to upgrade nearby Northam Park and to reconstruct Tremont Road are being discussed and started.
“It’s a busy time in the Tremont area,” said Paul Imhoff, superintendent of UA Schools. “While we are focused on the needs of our school community, we are also committed to collaborating with the city, library and community foundation to make sure all these projects work together and fit the vision for the area.”
The school addition will be funded through the district’s permanent improvement levy, which was approved by voters in 2007 and has been used for similar projects at Greensview and Barrington elementary schools.
"Without the foresight of the Board of Education and the community support back in 2007, this addition would not be possible," said Chris Potts, executive director of building services.
To learn more or submit a question about the Tremont Elementary School addition, visit www.uaschools.org/tremontconstruction. You may also contact Chris Potts, executive director of business services, at (614) 487-5000.