Hancock County

Hancock County

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School celebrates renovations

Updated: Tuesday, October 8 2013, 01:07 PM EDT

By Jennifer Black


What started as a vision several years ago in Hancock County is now a reality, and school leaders at New Manchester Elementary are celebrating the completion of a $5.5 million renovation project.

One of the major changes can be seen just as you pull into the school, where there is a new parking lot that boasts an additional 30 spaces.  Principal Cindy Virtue said the parking lot in itself was a major safety upgrade in terms of how students are dropped off for school.

As you make your way into the building, there are additional safety upgrades including a secure entrance, where the office employees must buzz visitors in.

“When parents enter, or community members enter they come in through the door and they’re stopped.  They cannot go any further into the school,” Virtue said.

Moving further into the school, there is a new ramp which leads to the new preschool wing which houses three new state of the art preschool classrooms.

“They definitely deserve this.  This is our future, and we want them to have the best possible foundation that they can have.  They’ll be able to give back to our community in the future,” Virtue said.

Elsewhere, there is a new lunchroom which is now separate from the gymnasium.  The building dons new ceilings and lights, and there is an elevator to better accommodate community visitors and disabled students.

Outside, there is new playground equipment, and a HVAC system which replaces their old window air conditioning units.

"It's made it very nice for the whole school as well, so when you step out in the hallway it's not going from hot to cold,” said reading teacher, Martha Randolph.

Randolph has been teaching at New Manchester Elementary since the mid-80’s and said she has enjoyed watching the school evolve.

On your way out the front door, you will find a plaque thanking community members for their support in helping to pass a $37 million bond levy in 2010.

“It's because of their support and their dedication to our kids in the community that this has been able to happen,” Virtue said.

While the yearlong renovation is officially complete, school leaders are already planning their next upgrades.  Virtue said they are thinking about new landscaping projects, and are currently raising funds for a new school sign.


School celebrates renovations

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