By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
Outside Austintown Elementary School were mounds of dirt and men working, but inside it was a typical first day of school Sept. 4.
A sign to welcome students and staff was tacked to a wall, children were enjoying lunch with friends in the cafetorium and teachers were learning new students’ names.
But this year was different than most – the students and staff were in a brand new, state-of-the–art facility for the first day of school. Construction on the new Austintown Elementary School was completed during the summer months.
“It’s an exciting day here at Austintown Elementary School,” said Tom Lenton, head principal of the new building. “Everything’s going well.”
The building is beautiful, he added.
“The faculty’s in love with it and I think the kids are really appreciating what a new building’s like for them,” Lenton said.
Linda Ferrier, a second-grade teacher, said the building is much bigger than Lloyd Elementary in Austintown, where she taught previously.
“It’s wonderful to have all state-of-the-art [equipment]. It’s a beautiful new facility,” she said.
Aubrey Ross, 7, said she was enjoying the new building, as well. The second-grader previously attended Woodside Elementary in Austintown.
“I love it,” Ross said about the new school. She likes that she doesn’t have to leave the building to go to classroom trailers. Mobile classrooms were used to create more space during construction of the new elementary and intermediate schools.
She doesn’t have a favorite part of the new school. “I really love all of it,” Ross said.
Daniel Inglis, 8, does have a favorite part, however. The “big gym” is the second-grader’s favorite part of the new school. It’s larger than the gym at Lloyd Elementary, the school he previously attended. That gives the children more room to play during his favorite school activity, gym, he said.
Inglis said the whole elementary school is bigger than Lloyd.
But, “I’m finding my way OK,” he said.