The Index Elementary staff waves goodbye to a handful of kids leaving in the school bus before summer break on June 12. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Index Elementary staff waves goodbye to a handful of kids leaving in the school bus before summer break on June 12. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Come fall, Index students will see changes to the old school

The district received a state grant to renovate its campus. About 40 kids go to school there.

INDEX — Cloud-covered mountaintops tower over the little school.

A couple of young children climb on the playground outside. The North Fork Skykomish River flows by just a few blocks south, under the bridge that leads into town.

It’s about noon on a Friday, and it’s quiet — school has just let out for the summer. The Index School District serves about 40 students, and all use the same building. They may notice some upgrades when they return in the fall.

The district received a grant from the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, worth about $118,000, Superintendent Brad Jernberg said.

The money is going toward building additions and safety equipment. Jernberg hopes to someday fix other parts of the school, but is thankful for the funds they were able to get.

“We feel blessed to have that,” he said.

The school was built in the early 1950s. Back then there were a few separate rooms with a courtyard between them. That space was later enclosed, and is now used as a computer room.

Architect rendering of the Index school remodel.

Architect rendering of the Index school remodel.

Kids in the district can go to the school through eighth grade and then usually transfer to either Sultan or Skykomish high schools.

Three full-time teachers work with the students in the same number of classrooms, one that doubles as the cafeteria. A small kitchen with a family-sized stove is in the next room.

The last renovations happened a few years ago when the school got a new roof. Most of the school’s improvements have come from grants. That’s because few people live in the district and bonds become too expensive to pass.

Part of the plan with the recent award is to build storage near the gymnasium. Some supplies are now kept inside of bathroom cabinets because space is so limited.

Ledges may be added above doorways to protect people from snow falling off the roofs during winter.

The district also hopes to build a room connected to the main entrance. That way children and visitors have a place to wait when the door is locked.

Jernberg expects the work to be done by the time school is back in session. The school board is expected to hire a contractor at its meeting this week.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192;; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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