The Chelsea School District is taking a new look at Pierce Lake Elementary School


This slide was part of a presentation during the March 13, CSD Board of Education meeting.

A goal this year and going forward for the Chelsea School District is getting Pierce Lake Elementary School opened again; in a re-imagined way.

This school was established in 1997 as a kindergarten through fifth grade building and then reconfigured as a third/fourth grade building, but it closed in 2010 due to low enrollment. Now 13 years on, school district officials have formed a new plan to bring life back into its hallways and rooms.

The plan was presented to the CSD Board of Education at its March 13 meeting, under the agenda item: Pierce Lake Elementary Site Update as presented by CSD Director of Special Education Lisa Nickel and CSD Assistant Superintendent Marcus Kaemming.

It was titled: Community Education and Early Childhood Center Presentation.

CSD Superintendent Michael Kapolka said the idea for this began in September, as the district began looking into options and opportunities it could use to potentially re-open Pierce Lake.

In wrapping up the presentation, Kapolka said a big thing that excites the district staff is getting school-aged children in there and “activity back at Pierce Lake.”

Kaemming said this proposal is a rekindling of an opportunity for CSD families.

The plan is set out in three phases.

Phase One is called “Pierce Lake – Early Childhood and Community Education Center.” Its goals are to find permanent location for Community Education, Preschool, and Aftercare, and reopen Pierce Lake Elementary. The timeline for this phase is January through August.

This phase will see Camp Gabika and full-day preschool begin in June there while Community Ed. offices will also migrate over to Pierce in May/June.

According tot Nickel’s and Kaemming’s presentation, the steps needed to help complete this phase include: licensing of rooms/spaces; fire inspection; add playground equipment; purchase some supplies/ equipment currently being shared with 300 building; technology added to each room and the building, and communication with families.

Phase Two is called Planning and Visioning with goals to: develop and reimagine Early Childhood; create a clear vision for Early Childhood expectations and expand Community Education offerings. This phase, with a timeline of August 2023 through June 2024, will see the beginning of site visits to Early Childhood Centers while also finishing developing the plan to move all preschool programs to Pierce Lake for a start in the fall of 2024/25.

Phase Three is full implementation with a grand opening of the Pierce Lake Early Childhood and Community Education Center and roll out new Community Education Programs.

As one note to the board, in thinking about paying for this, Kaemming said the district has been setting aside money for this type of project. They said there are other funding sources as well that can help without using too much money from the general fund.

The presentation included some additional thoughts:

● Discussions with Kingscott about possible move of central offices to Pierce Lake.

● State fully funded preschool for 4 year olds

● Relationships with Immanuel Bible (continued partnership and communication throughout the phases)

● Series 3 bond has monies already allocated to the reopening of Pierce Lake

● Use grant money as well as bond and sinking fund to cover much of the plan

● Enrollment projection take-away = the earlier we start with families, the higher probability that they stay with the district over their duration (the stats from the enrollment projection back this up)

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