Tomah Area Montessori School is running out of space.
The school is looking to move into Robert Kupper Learning Center next year and could be searching for an even larger facility after that, said Tomah Area School District superintendent Cindy Zahrte.
“We need to do something next year,” Zahrte said. “They’re looking beyond Robert Kupper. This may not be the final landing space for Montessori.”
The school district’s Facilities Committee discussed a possible move Tuesday. School district energy and maintenance manager Dave Stutzman said moving TAMS to Robert Kupper would require window repair and restroom renovation “but otherwise it’s not in too bad a shape. We’re at the point where we can conceptualize what it would look like.”
TAMS, the Tomah district’s first charter school, was launched at the start of the 2015-16 school year at an Academy Road building that was previously a four-year-old kindergarten. It started with with just two classes of 40 kindergarten and first-grade students but has grown to 58 students with a waiting list of 20.
Zahrte said the existing building can’t handle a third class that’s expected to form next year. She said parents of children who started in first grade are now advocating for a classroom of grades four through six.
“We just don’t have the capability for three classrooms out there,” Zahrte said.
The existing TAMS facility has just two classrooms and a third room that’s used for music, art and cafeteria space. It also has a small office.
If TAMS moves, the district would need to find space for two alternative education programs that use Robert Kupper. Zahrte said the programs could occupy the existing Montessori space.
Zahrte said there is sufficient space at Robert Kupper for outdoor playground equipment that would be moved from the current facility.
TAMS briefly occupied classrooms at Robert Kupper in 2016 after a water heater leak caused moderate water damage at Montessori.