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Archive for Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Crews race to finish school in Perry

August 8, 2006

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The first day of school is quickly approaching, and for one local district, it's a race against the clock.

The Perry-Lecompton Middle School is nearing completion, but it's still not quite ready for students.

That's why construction crews are working seven days a week, and teachers are unpacking box after box of school supplies.

Pat Zimmerman is one of those teachers. She was in her classroom Monday unpacking the boxes piled up on her table.

"It's exciting. It's like moving into a new house. You find new places for your old stuff, so it's kind of cool," she said Monday afternoon.

Zimmerman teaches fifth grade at Perry-Lecompton Middle School, and moving is something she's done quite a bit in her 13 years working for the district. She spent her last four years at Williamstown Intermediate, and before that she taught in Grantville.

She's happy to be in a more central location now. The new middle school is attached to the Perry-Lecompton High School. And Zimmerman says she expects this to be her last move for a while.

"Oh, I'm so excited to know I can put stuff and leave it, and not have to move it every year and sort of change and lose stuff. So yeah, I'm excited to have a home. That's what we feel like. We have a home now," she said.

Supt. Steve Johnston says everything from the old building has already been moved, but they're still waiting on a few things.

"We purchased quite a bit of new furniture and equipment. That's coming in now as we speak. In fact, the library furniture just came in this morning, so for the next couple of weeks there's going to be a lot of work going on around here," he said.

Johnston said facilities like the sciences labs and library are vast improvements over those in the old building.

"Our facilities were old. They were getting worn out, and it's so nice to have them all in one spot in a brand new attractive facility. It's a school kids are really going to be proud of," Johnston said.

The new gym isn't scheduled to be complete until mid-September, and the computer labs likely won't be ready on that first day.

There are also some odds and ends to tend to, like cleaning up exposed wires and making sure all the furniture ends up in the right room.

But Zimmerman says that as long as the students show up, she will be ready to teach.

"I'm not concerned. If it's not ready, it's not ready. The kids are coming, and that's more important. The stuff will get unpacked," she said.

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