School to add safer entrance, new gym


Construction around town seems to affect more than just traffic. Planned construction at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School has changed plans for the annual school event. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the school on Oct. 8.

“It is a goal of the district to have secure entrances to school buildings,” said Andrea Tiede, principal of Roosevelt School. “We haven’t had any problems, but we are trying to be proactive because the safety of the students is our No. 1 priority.”

Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the school will add a new gym and kindergarten area to the east side of the building. The old gym will be transformed into offices and a library, providing a secure entrance for the building. By the time school starts again in August 2011, the construction is expected to be finished.

At a Parent Teacher Organization meeting, in which the construction was discussed, the spring carnival was canceled due to lack of space. Emmily Olgierson, mother of a first and third grader at Roosevelt School, said she thought it would be fun to do something in the fall since springtime was not an option. She organized the 2010 spring carnival and plans to make a 2011 spring carnival possible.

“With the carnival being in the fall, we will have use of the green area (grass) and the playground since those places would be otherwise taken over by construction in the spring,” Tiede said. “The annual event will go from spring carnival to fall festival.”

Olgierson, P.T.O member, said she realized the festival is a big family affair and parents should get to spend time with their children. She heard about K-State volunteers from parents who have children at other schools whose P.T.O.’s used their help for various events.

“Lots of parents volunteer during the school day and stuff like that, but at events like this, they miss moments with their kids,” she said. “Student volunteers at K-State ease parents’ responsibilities and take some pressure off.”

Sara Weber worked with Olgierson to successfully mobilize volunteers to help with the fall festival.

The partnerships started with the 2010 spring carnival, which was Olgierson’s first time being in charge of the event. Weber said the K-State Volunteer Center acts as a connection point between volunteers and community organizations in need.

Roosevelt School Fall Festival is scheduled for Sat., Oct. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. There will be pumpkins for a pumpkin patch, inflatables from Little Apple Movement, miniature trains to ride, K-State insects, group pie-eating contests, food from Friendship House in Wamego and prizes and games. Willie the Wildcat might attend and Home Depot might provide a kids’ workshop.

Olgierson said she has been very busy, but it is fun to see it all come together.

“It is a lot of little details, but most are phone calls,” she said. “I figured out a lot of things from the spring carnival can be carried over, but since it’s in the fall, we have a new theme — pumpkins and all that — but it hasn’t been too challenging.”

The groundbreaking ceremony is the day before the festival to give a chance to celebrate the changes coming with the community, parents and students.

“I am so impressed with the strong ties of the community,” Tiede said. “It is only my second year here as principal and it is so great everyone can get together and celebrate all the wonderful things about this school.”