Sprucing up the classroom

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By Kirsten Laskey

Los Alamos Public Schools’ physical condition could get some healing through a potential 20-year facility plan, but not all classrooms will be given attention.

“It’s just a matter of priority,” explained Los Alamos Public School Foundation board member Morrie Pongratz. For instance, at Los Alamos High School, the plan addresses B, C and D wings, but not E-wing, the location for science classrooms.

He said the B, C and D wings are next to each other, which makes it easier. Plus, in the past, bond money has been used to create two new science classrooms. Pongratz added, “You just can’t do everything.”

Los Alamos Public School Foundation board, however, is campaigning to give some care to either E-17 or E-19 in the E-wing at LAHS. “Classroom Makeover” will be introduced to the community during the July 4 festivities at Overlook Park. The foundation board will have a booth at the event with information about the campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $100,000 to revitalize the classroom. The foundation members would like to install new flooring, countertops, lighting and windows. Additionally, they hope to create a separate office with storage space for the teacher. One of the ways the money will be raised is through a mass mailing, asking families to donate to the campaign.

During a foundation committee meeting Monday, members Joyce Richins, Morrie Pongratz, Suzanne Lynne and foundation executive director Joanna Gillespie discussed other ways the Classroom Makeover will be promoted. For instance, eight cut-outs of cartoon-like students, which will stand about 4 feet tall and include a conversation bubble talking about the campaign, will be placed around Los Alamos.

The foundation members also discussed purchasing stickers for the campaign, with messages such as “Give me a classroom makeover,” or “Thanks for the classroom makeover,” printed on them.

Two traveling displays will also be produced, which will include the foundation’s mission, vision, logo, donors, accomplishments and photos.

In addition to being left out of the 20-year facility plan, Pongratz explained the E-wing was chosen because it is a science lab room.

“We picked science because we thought it was something the community could embrace and (we chose) the high school because all the students go there and it is such bad shape,” he said.

Gillespie encouraged the community to take part in the campaign because “education matters to everyone and public education is the cornerstone of democracy,” she said. “We in Los Alamos have a high value in education and we are interested in maintaining excellence in public education.”