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Woonsocket Elementary extension complete

WOONSOCKET--Students and teachers at Woonsocket Elementary are moved in and enjoying a 5,000-square-foot addition to the school, which was completed last month.

Staff and students working during class in one of their new rooms on Wednesday at Woonsocket Elementary School. (Sheila Slater/Daily Republic)
Staff and students working during class in one of their new rooms on Wednesday at Woonsocket Elementary School. (Sheila Slater/Daily Republic)

WOONSOCKET-Students and teachers at Woonsocket Elementary are moved in and enjoying a 5,000-square-foot addition to the school, which was completed last month.

The Woonsocket School District was able to cover the $850,000 project from its capital outlay fund. Superintendent Rod Weber said the addition was needed to match the growing student enrollment at the elementary school.

"We have an overall great staff here at the Woonsocket Elementary School and I think the community has really stepped up and improved a lot," he said. "With that we have a lot of young families moving back in to the area, which makes our school enrollment numbers go up."

Based on the school district's statistics, the school's enrollment rose to 244 students this year. That's a significant increase from 160 students 10 years ago, Weber said. The count jumped 11 students from last year.

The extension added two classrooms for the fifth- and sixth-graders, two classrooms for special education students, teacher offices and a sensory room for students with autism.

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"The sensory room is a place for kids with autism to calm themselves, if there is a situation for them where they show high anxiety levels. We never had this before and we have seen a huge difference for these kids," Weber said.

Students with autism are accompanied to the sensory room and generally stay there for 10-minute time periods to regain focus and calmness.

The staff and students of the elementary school are currently putting together a virtual tour of the addition that will be posted on the school's website. In addition plans are being made for some landscaping efforts.

After the successful completion of the extension project, Weber hopes to add a day care facility in the future.

"We are in the early stages of planning a new day care facility here at the school to meet the increased need for babysitters in the community," Weber said.

The sensory room located in the new extension building at Woonsocket Elementary offers a quiet space for students with autism that are experiencing high levels of anxiety. (Sheila Slater/Daily Republic)
The sensory room located in the new extension building at Woonsocket Elementary offers a quiet space for students with autism that are experiencing high levels of anxiety. (Sheila Slater/Daily Republic)

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