Meadowlark Elementary opening delayed in West Fargo

Renderings by YHR Partners
Renderings by YHR Partners(YHR Partners)
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 11:06 PM CST
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The opening for West Fargo’s newest elementary school, Meadowlark, has been delayed. The school will be located west of Veterans Boulevard and north of 52nd Avenue South in Fargo’s Rocking Horse Farm 6th Addition. It’s the city’s 15th elementary school.

During Monday’s school board meeting, the board approved a staffing request to move forward with hiring for the new school. A staffing request to the board states:

Based on the enrollment projections that were shared by RSP at the last board meeting, we are planning for an additional 286 elementary learners for next school year. We plan to hire as a team and assign staff to specific grade levels and buildings as registrations are confirmed. With Meadowlark’s delayed opening, we will have 415 learners onsite next year that are projected to move to Meadowlark but will remain in their current home school. We are requesting to hire the new principal for Meadowlark this spring and have them do the typical work of opening a new school (hiring, PTA/O formation, mascot, colors, team planning, playground, construction details, etc.) as well as identifying the future learners attending Aurora, Deer Creek, Freedom and Independence.

This doesn’t entirely come as a surprise. Last winter, a representative with the school district told Valley News Live the construction industry is still experiencing significant supply chain issues, so the district is planning for a longer timeline than usual for having the new school ready to go.

“The ideal scenario would have us opening the building Fall 2023, but a more realistic timeline would be sometime in 2024,” said Heather Leas, Director of Health, Safety and Public Relations.

The decision to build another school comes after enrollment projections show continued and increasing overcrowding for Freedom Elementary and Independence Elementary, as well as Liberty Middle School and Sheyenne High School.