Crosslake Community School just opened its new building last fall. But the school has already outgrown the facility and school board members decided Monday, May 13, to form a facility committee that will explore building expansion options.

Todd Lysico, executive director of Crosslake Community School, said the school board anticipated building expansion, but not this soon. Enrollment increases are driving the need for additional classroom spaces.

The school currently has 279 students, which includes about 139 students in its fifth- through 12th-grade online program. The school caps classroom sizes at 19 students and the board last month decided to add a second kindergarten classroom next fall.

Lyscio said three board members will serve on the facility committee and work with Hy-Tec Construction, which built the school, on an expansion plan. He said the goal is to construct an addition that could contain up to eight classrooms with construction possibly to start in the fall of 2020.

The building, which is owned by the Lake Foundation since charter schools cannot own their facilities, was built with an expansion plan in mind. Next fall a flex room used for board meetings and rotating classes will be used as a full-time classroom to accommodate student enrollment growth.

Playground

The school is fundraising for a new playground to be built this summer. The goal is to raise $90,000, and donations have been coming in. The Crosslake Lions committed to $15,000, and the school received a $500 donation from Crosslake Presbyterian Church, Lyscio said.

If the school doesn't raise the amount through fundraisers, like at its Evening for Education fundraiser June 13, and other private donations, the school board will take out a loan or use its fund balance to get the playground installed this summer.

In other business Monday, the board:

• Heard a presentation by Erin Anderson, authorizing specialist for the Audubon Center of the North Woods, about goals and requirements for environmental education for its 36 charter schools, including Crosslake.

Each school is required, as a condition of its contract with Audubon Center of the North Woods, to provide environmental education opportunities and to foster environmentally literate citizens, both at school and within the community.

"A lot of people think environmental education is a branch of education and it's not. It's a lens, a way of teaching. We really see environmental education as strategies and tools you can use," Anderson told the board. "Up here you have a really wonderful place where you can do outdoor learning."

• Planned a special meeting for 5 p.m. Monday, May 20, to discuss the budget for 2019-20.