Teachers, students begin adjustments
By JUDY SHERARD
Teachers started moving into the new 7,280-square-foot metal classroom addition this week at Hays Middle School.
Eighth-grade reading teacher Misti Norris moved from one corner of the building to a new classroom in another corner.
"We packed up our own classrooms," she said Wednesday. "Everything in my classroom was sectioned off in the cafeteria, piled up nice and high."
The district received the certificate of occupancy Aug. 2, and the classrooms were ready for teachers by Monday afternoon.
"They pulled custodians from other schools, so they were able to get them moved quickly. We were able to get in our rooms as soon as we could," Norris said.
It's been somewhat windy on a couple of days since Norris moved in, but the classrooms are well insulated and quiet.
Since she got started Monday, she had a head start on some of the other teachers.
"We'll pull together and help them, so we'll be ready to go," she said.
While teachers were getting classrooms ready, some students were decorating lockers.
Krystal Potter watched as her daughter, Kayli, and her friend, Elise Housman, both sixth-graders, decorated Kayli's new locker.
"Mine is clear at the other end," Elise said of her locker.
Rachel Mewhinney and Leeah Buchholz, eighth-graders from Kennedy Middle School, were checking out the new classrooms Wednesday afternoon.
"It's kind of weird because of the shape," Rachel said of the building addition.
Buchholz was pretty sure most of her classes were in the new classrooms.
"I can tell I'm going to get lost," she said.
"I kind of like it better down here," said Sam Dorzweiler, a seventh-grader from Kennedy.
Madeline Mewhinney, a sixth-grader, also was having that lost feeling as she looked at her schedule.
"I've never been all around this school, and I'm trying to find this room, and I've looked everywhere," she said.
Payton Garrison, a seventh-grader, has several classes in the addition, but he wasn't worried about getting from class to class on time.
"All of my classes go from here all the way across (the school)," he said.
Administrators expect approximately 600 students at the middle school this year, a loss of nearly 100 students after closing Kennedy. However, the classroom space was needed to have all of the students in one location.
"They're really nice," Norris said of the new classrooms. "They've done a really good job. It's going to look just fine."