New learning center at Tully Elementary School underscores need - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New learning center at Tully Elementary School underscores need for additional JCPS renovations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A space once filled by an old pool has students swimming in new learning opportunities at Louisville's Tully Elementary School. 

Jefferson County Public Schools spent 11 million dollars at the school located at 3300 College Drive to convert the old pool space into a new music and art space and multi-purpose room. The money also funded a new library and broadcast studio. 

The news prompted pint-sized high-fives and a roar from the crowd of students during Tuesday's ribbon cutting ceremony.

"Soon it will be a very cognitively busy place with students learning and working together," said Tully school principal Linda Dauenhauer.

The celebration also recognized dedicated teachers. The new art space will be used by Margo Thornbury, a Tully Elementary School teacher recently named Kentucky's Art Teacher of the Year.

"What I enjoy most about art class is Ms. Thornbury always makes every activity fun and learning interesting," said one student. 

Fellow faculty member Kathryn Wigger, the Jefferson County Public Schools Music Teacher of the Year, was also recognized. 

"Just an incredible honor for the kids, the teachers and the school here overall," Dr. Marty Pollio, the JCPS interim superintendent said. 

The event underscores facility issues plaguing JCPS.

"We're going to have to take a real hard look in the future and probably be more aggressive about these needs and what were going to do," Pollio said.

The $11 million of renovations at Tully Elementary School included a new roof and HVAC system -- and JCPS says there are more than $1 billion in similar facility needs district-wide. 

"Doing five or six schools at a time, as you can imagine, would take 25 or 30 years to reach every single school," Dr. Pollio said. "And in my mind, that's not going to get it done for us."

Pollio is not saying how he plans to fund any proposed improvement blitz. It can't happen without taxpayer investment.

Tully elementary school opened in 1986 but the building itself dates back 40 years. The campus first opened in 1977 as a school for special education children.
 

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