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Two Woodbury elementary schools to get early dismissal

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Students at two Woodbury elementary schools will be able to start their summer vacation a day early this school year.

The District 833 School Board had granted approval for an early dismissal request for both Royal Oaks and Woodbury elementary schools.

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The last day of school will be June 7 rather than June 8.

The reason for the early release date is because of the district's intentions to update the heating, ventilating and air circulation systems at both schools.

Royal Oaks and Woodbury elementary schools will be the fifth and sixth district schools to receive HVAC upgrades. The previous schools included Pullman, Pine Hill, Crestview, Hillside and Newport elementary schools.

Royal Oaks and Woodbury elementary must release its students a day earlier because construction is set to begin on June 9 and the schools must clean everything out of the building prior to that date.

"We're required to pack up everything," Royal Oaks principal Theresa Blume-Thole said. "It really is a huge process."

The HVAC replacement will be paid for through the district's Alternative Facilities Budget. The district did not provide cost estimates for the project.

Blume-Thole said the early release date had no impact on the school's schedule or curriculum. She said losing a day of class has not caused the school to eliminate any programs.

"This whole process really has gone very smoothly and hasn't had a huge impact on the students or the teaching piece," she said.

Woodbury Elementary principal Kristine Schaefer could not be reached for comment.

Renovation and improvement

According to information provided by District 833 Communication Director Barb Brown, the reasons for replacing the HVAC system at both schools is because of the age of the buildings themselves, the fact that there is currently no humidity control, the current temperature control is crude, the ventilators are too noisy and because of the poor air quality.

Once the HVAC system is replaced, the schools will have improved air quality and air flow, a quieter learning environment and improved energy efficiency.

"We're ready for some renovation," Blume-Thole said. "We're excited about coming back in the fall with a new look."

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Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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