VIDEO: Sneak peak of Sam AdamsPublished 5:53pm Monday, August 29, 2011
Despite some setbacks due to a brutal winter, the Sam Adams Elementary School renovation project is nearly complete, and the building is set to open the first day of school Sept. 7.
The two-level building will house 700 students in kindergarten through sixth grade with a remodeled gymnasium and new playground equipment.
“That’s what’s most important to the kids,” said principal Dee Voss. “Gym and recess.”
But there is much more to the improvements to the school that were funded by the passing of a $16 million bond last February.
Two new wings have been added — one for kindergarten and first grade classrooms and another two-story wing for second through sixth grade rooms. Thirty-one new rooms have been added to the building.
The building isn’t quite finished, but Skanska Construction workers are working hard to get it all finished in time for student orientation Sept. 6.
“Teachers are anxious to get in their classrooms,” Voss said.
Teacher inservice days began last Friday but Sam Adams instructors were unable to move in due to ongoing construction.
But teachers have stayed busy with training on new technology being added to the Sam Adams classrooms, including interactive whiteboards, laptops, document cameras, iPads and surround sound systems in each classroom.
“This will help us improve our core curriculum and in meeting national standards,” Voss said.
The renovated building also features a new library, security technology, intercom system, air conditioning and wifi.
“It’s a positive and complete learning environment. We didn’t have that before,” Voss said.
With a new building comes new student pickup and drop-off procedures.
Voss said students who walk to school enter in the back of the building off of South East Street or Depot Street. Children who are being dropped off by parents should be dropped off only off of Depot Street. Parents should also pick up students in the front of the building off Depot Street.
Beginning Sept. 12, the entire building will be locked, and any visitors, including parents, must sign in at the front desk, Voss said.
Student orientation is set for Sept. 6 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with a community walk-through scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m.