"We've dealt with it the best way we can," Lady's Island Elementary Assistant Principal Lynn Patterson said of the needed improvements.
Taking advantage of a mostly empty building during the winter intercession, workers have started upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and remodeling the nursing office and adjoining bathroom.
The wall between the office and bathroom will be torn down, light fixtures will be replaced and a shower, sink, and washer and dryer will be installed, Patterson
said.The addition of a shower will be critical, Patterson said, as the school's lone nurse is left with only a sink to clean up a student who has an accident. She
also has to use the washer and dryer in the gymnasium to wash soiled clothes.
"We really need to let students have access to a shower," Patterson
said."It's time-consuming on the nurse's part -- it takes time away from her
duties.The new space will make things much easier for her
Additionally, the renovations will include a storage space for spare clothes, which are now stored in boxes.Patterson
hopes the renovations will be completed before school starts Jan. 4 so a temporary office in a mobile classroom won't be needed.
"Everybody at the school is very patient and understanding," she
Along with the nursing upgrade, Patterson
has a long wish list of renovations and additions, including fixing the roof, hiding electrical eyesores and building covered walkways at the front entryways to protect students from the weather.
"When it rains, I escort children under an umbrella in groups of 10 from the door to the bus," she
said."We look like a walking amoeba."
Overcrowding and disrepair due to an aging building is something the staff does its best to work around until the district can afford to make all the needed repairs and renovations, Patterson