School keeps working on housing options

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Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 8:00 pm

With the start of the school year in Sidney two weeks away, school officials are trying to find housing for some of its employees.

The project of having modular housing at the West Side Elementary School campus is being worked on, but zoning meetings must still take place Wednesday (today) and Aug. 20 in order to gain city approval.

“If we can pull it off by the end of September, it would be a feat and a half,” Sidney Superintendent of Schools Daniel Farr said Monday morning of having the additional housing available. 

The project will consist of three modular units with three apartments (either two bedroom or three bedroom) in each unit.

“They won’t be big, but will be as affordable as we can get,” Farr said.

The superintendent notes 90 percent of the school’s staff can’t afford the amount of rent being charged by many landlords in the area.

The school district has hired 16 new staff members including two secretaries, an activities director and two new custodians since the end of last school year.

Farr said some of the new staff members fit the student definition of “homeless” right now.

“I’m hoping we will be OK by the start of October to have housing that’s more affordable,” Farr said. 

He is thankful some community members stepped forward to help with the district’s housing challenges.

As of Monday, the school district had between 40-50 new students. During registration this week, Farr expects about 50 additional new students.

Aug. 22 is the first day of school for students entering sixth grade and being high school freshmen. The rest of the students begin Aug. 23.