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3 MURRAY SCHOOLS LIKELY TO GET NEW CLASSROOMS

Murray City School District likely will build new classrooms at three schools as part of its legislatively supported class-size reduction efforts.

Superintendent Ronald Stephens told the Murray school board Wednesday that the district is considering adding two classrooms each to McMillan and Longview elementary schools. Four class-rooms could be added to Liberty Elementary School."If our only answer is to add a portable to each school, in 10 years, they'll look like military camps. Instead of adding portables, we should consider some additions to some of our schools," Stephens said.

Stephens said he has considered McMillan, Longview and Liberty because they are among the district's smaller elementary schools. Ideally, an elementary school should serve no more than 650 students, he said.

"We're not looking to make the large schools any larger," said Janice Evans, director of elementary education.

Grant also is a small school but its central facilities - multipurpose room, central office and kitchen - are too small to accommodate a larger student body. "If the Legislature's commitment holds, we may be able to do something significant at Grant, maybe even build a new school," Stephens said, emphasizing these are long-term goals.

Late last year, legislative leaders announced an ambitious plan to reduce class sizes in early elementary grades. Legislators provided $30 million in new money to lower class sizes, the first in a 10-year commitment to provide $500 million to accomplish the goal.