Proposed Expansion:

Adding four classrooms and one multi-purpose room at Bennett Woods Elementary School will alleviate overcrowding at all Okemos elementary schools

Black and white drawing of layout of Bennett Woods Elementary School, showing the proposed expansion of 4 classrooms and 1 multipurpose room
Gray shaded areas show proposed expansion
  • Four new classrooms are shown on the right.
  • On the left, near gymnasium, is a multipurpose room with a movable interior room divider to allow for flexible layouts.
  • Funding is allocated under the “Facility Upgrades” part of bond to accommodate bus loop adjustments made necessary by this expansion.

Why is this necessary?

**Student enrollment has increased by 27% since 2011

line shart showing elementary student growth numbers increasing from 2010-2018

Source:  Bond Proposal Final Recommendations to Board of Education 11.26.19 (page 10)

What other options were explored?

The 2018-19 Facility Use/Site Long Range Planning Study Committee examined several possible options to alleviate overcrowding, including adding on to Cornell, Hiawatha, OPM at Central, and re-opening a portion of Wardcliff. They determined that expanding Bennett Woods, as explained above, is the best option for our students and district. Current population numbers are not high enough to justify the expense of building a new school or re-opening Wardcliff at this time.
Read the committee’s full report here.


“I am excited about the upcoming opportunities for expansion at Bennett Woods. I currently have one child at the school and will have a kindergartner entering in the fall. My daughter, at the age of 10 months, had a stroke that left her with hemiplegia, or partial paralysis, on her right side. This inhibits her full range of muscle movement while walking and doing other large motor skills. She requires therapy to help strengthen her coordination and balance. The extra space at Bennett Woods would support her safe movement among her peers and help prevent falls. The new multipurpose area would help her enjoy visiting speakers or participate in group projects, activities that require more space to accommodate her needs. I am also excited about the flexible seating options since many of these would naturally support the building of her core muscles and large motor skill development during the school day and not just during therapy. Flexible seating has the ability to meet the learning and mobility needs of all students. It would mean a lot to her to see that her classroom and school community was already prepared to support her success. These bond projects have the capability of allowing my daughter to be truly part of it all!” Jennifer Soria, Bennett Woods parent