Ground breaks on Sunnyside school expansion

More classrooms, facilities to be added to keep up with growing student population

The Sunnyside Elementary School building project construction has officially started following a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 2.

While the Pulaski High School drumline provided music, Sunnyside students — adorned in winter coats and yellow plastic construction hats — streamed onto the playground to help kick off what will be a major project. The expansion will give the original 1981 school building additional space for an expected increased student population as well as modernize the current facility and to provide more access to natural light to the school at 720 County Road C, Sobieski.

Traffic flow for school buses and parents dropping off or picking up students will also be improved as part of the process.

A group of parents, school board members, district officials and representatives from the architectural firm Bray Architects and construction manager CD Smith were also on hand.

Pulaski Community School District Superintendent Allison Space welcomed those in attendance.

“I would like to start by thanking our families and citizens of Pulaski Community School District, who from the start, have listened, given feedback, supported and then voted for this building expansion. Thank you for continuing to be advocates for education and our children,” she said.

She noted close teamwork and partnership mark the preparations that have led to the new addition. Board members, staff members, architects and managers have been engaged in a multi-year planning process to “envision and shape the Sunnyside Elementary of the future.”

“Together, we traveled to other sites and met with colleagues and consultants to learn from their experience. Many times in this process, there was debate and always a deliberate process to consider our options. Together, we chose a design that will achieve the greatest functionality for many years to come,” Space said.

Project manager Marc McGuire from CD Smith and architect Clinton Selle of Bray Architects both expressed appreciation to the school board and district staff for allowing them to be a part of the project.

Maguire told the students to enjoy the two-year process, noting that “it’s going to fly by.”

Selle told students the district worked hard on their behalf.

“You’re going to get to see a lot of fun things,” he said.

The Sunnyside project is part of the $69.8 million referendum approved by voters in November 2022. This is part of the project’s second phase, which also includes additions to Hillcrest Elementary School and the technology education wing at Pulaski High School.

The first phase occurred this past summer with site work at Lannoye and Fairview elementary schools; site work, bathroom renovations and office air conditioning at Glenbrook Elementary School; and fire alarm replacement and bathroom renovations at the high school.

Work on the second phase of projects is expected to wrap up in 2025.