KEARNEY, Neb. — Elementary students at one school in Kearney will be going to class in a different facility in the 2024-25 academic year.

Kearney Public Schools announced Monday that it will relocate Windy Hills students in order to complete a renovation of the existing school. Third, fourth, and fifth-grade students will be moved to Buffalo Hills Elementary. Kindergarten, first, and second-grade students will be relocated to the First Baptist Church, which is the former Kearney High School building.

The district says moving the students away from Windy Hills will drop the construction timeline from two years to one year and save the district one-point-two million dollars. K-P-S will provide bus transportation both replacement facilities. K-P-S will also allow parents to choose another school if they don't want their child to be educated in a church.

"We understand there is a clear delineation between church and state and that for some families, having their child attend school in a Christian church is not something that fits within their family's beliefs.  We are sensitive to those concerns and will work with families to find another school that works for them during the 2024-2025 school year," Superintendent Jason Mundorf said in a news release.

The renovation plans include a new front office and remodeling of all classroom spaces.