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Andes Central expansion taking shape

School supply photo illustration. (Matt Gade/Republic)

LAKE ANDES — A $13 million project at the Andes Central School District is on schedule and taking shape in Lake Andes.

The project kicked off in late June and will add 55,000 square feet to the elementary school while also remodeling 24,000 square feet, and is expected to be completed in time for the 2018-19 school year. The high school, currently located several blocks from the elementary school, will likely be repurposed or sold, according to school board members, as high school classes will move into the expansion.

And crews are "99 percent complete with the footings and foundation," according to Andes Central Superintendent Debera Lucas. She said construction crews are currently focusing on the remodel portion of the project, doing the majority of the demolition work needed.

"It's nice to see the footprint," Lucas said in an email to The Daily Republic.

Included in the designs are 13 new classrooms, restrooms, speciality rooms, administrative offices, a courtyard, two new gymnasiums and various other amenities. Also included in the preliminary designs is a "secured entrance," which creates a main point of entry for patrons entering the school during classroom hours. The secured entrance will be located near the administrative offices on the south end of the school.

To fund the expansion and reconstruction, the district plans to take $6 million from its reserve funds, and has secured a loan through the United States Department of Agriculture with a 3.375 percent interest rate over a 20-year period, which will fund the remainder of the project.