Converting an Elementary School to a Middle School is a Major Component of KUSD Right-Sizing Plan

Dec. 4, 2023 9:45p

(WGTD)---Modifications to make a Kenosha Unified elementary school a fully-functional middle school may have to be phased in, but Superintendent Jeff Weiss believes enough elements would be in place in time for the start of the next school year.

The Edward Bain School of Language and Art would replace Washington Middle School under a downsizing and consolidation plan that was outlined last week by district administration. The plan is expected to be considered by the school board Dec. 12th. 

Washington--on Sheridan Rd.--is in the worst shape of all of the district's middle schools, according to a facilities analysis. 

A 'right-sizing' committee has been studying options for much of the year with the goal of increasing building utilization. Elementary and middle school buildings in the district are at less than two-thirds full,  according to the district. 

Edward Bain already has lockers and plenty of green space for athletic fields that would be conducive for middle school use. "The biggest thing we would have to put in right now would be locker rooms and a weight room," Weiss told WGTD Monday morning. "As far as the need for science goes, much of our curriculum is based on Project Lead the Way so we wouldn't need gas lines, for example," he said. 

Other modifications would be needed, he said, including a reconfiguration of space to allow for music instruction and the installation of bleachers in the gym, which he says already includes a stage that could be used for performances. 

Edward Bain's dual language program would be moved to Stocker while Edward Bain's boundary elementary school would be eliminated. 

Weiss said no hard timetable currently exists for Edward Bain building modifications if it would be converted to a middle school because the board has yet to vote on the plan.