Aug 27, 2006

lean, clean and green: new buildings greet incoming students

Tomorrow the district roars back to life, and in a little over a week the students come roaring back, too. In some schools, they'll be greeted by radically revised learning spaces. Washington Middle School, for example.
Most of the school was gutted and rebuilt for the project, which expanded student capacity from 588 to 800 and modernized the building. It added 10 classrooms, computer laboratories, wireless technology and increased space for the library, science labs, the cafeteria and more.

The project also received a $300,000 grant from the state for its environmentally friendly aspects - elements known as "green" or "sustainable" design. Plus, the renovated building uses several exposed finishes, such as concrete floors in hallways and some classrooms, that district officials say will require minimal maintenance.
Other district buildings got an update over the summer, or will be starting renovations soon. Capital has twelve new classrooms and an entirely different main office complex (on the other side of the school, in fact) nearing oompletion. LP Brown's $6.2 million project is mostly done, adding office space and a new multipurpose room, among other things. Pioneer Elementary and Reeves Middle are just getting started on major renovations.

It's one thing to be excited to see students and colleagues again. It's another to walk into a fresh, shiny building at the start of the year, as I will at Capital in a matter of days. Now, if only they remove the "pebblecrete" from the exterior, I'll dare to call it "beautiful."

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