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By Mina Corpuz

GROTON — The Groton Community School is more than halfway toward its fundraising goal to expand its campus.

About $2.3 million has been collected for the school’s first capital campaign “Forward Motion,” said GCS Director Linda Kosinski. The goal is to raise $3.85 million.

“We’re looking for more flexibility and space to provide a better educational experience,” she said.

Renovation would enlarge the school’s entrance and widen hallways, making it easier for students, staff, and parents to navigate.

A new library would house more than 300 books that are stored in a back office, in shelves along the walls, and in milk crates on the floor.

School functions would be held in a new community room. There would also be office space and more bathrooms.

GSC serves children ages 2 through 5 during the school year and kids through age 7 during the summer.

When the center was built in 1984, there were 50 kids and 12 staff members. There are now 150 kids and 20 staff members.

The $3.85 million campaign will also cover student financial aid, a teacher recruitment and retention fund, project planning, and building maintenance. The building project is about $2.69 million.

Kosinski said there isn’t a deadline to raise the full amount. The building project would be the first priority, she said. Plans to expand have been in the works for about 10 years.

Architectural plans for the building have been approved and bids for a general contractor have gone out, Kosinski said.

She said the school will have anidea of how much construction it can pursue when it receives cost estimates from the bids.

The goal is to break ground on the community room in June while most students are out of school, Kosinski said.

She said the school has been fund raising behind the scenes for the past few years. To introduce the campaign to the public, GSC hosted a gathering April 10 and unveiled renderings for the building.

The guest of honor was four-year-old student, Jonas, who gave Kosinski the contents of his piggy bank — about $1.50 — in a plastic bag and to help build a new school.

Contributions in the from of one-time donations, multi-year pledges, gifts, stocks, and securities are accepted for the campaign.

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