Building makeover is almost finished

MIDDLEBURG – A 28-month renovation project at Middleburg Elementary School is coming to an end, and Principal Dane Aucker said community response has been all positive.

“Everybody I’ve been talking to … everybody is loving the new facility,” he said.

The building now boasts 30 regular education classrooms, four special education classrooms, a music room, an art room, two computer labs, a library, gymnasium/all purpose room and cafeteria.

Aucker said there also are large group instruction areas for every grade level. These rooms can be utilized by teachers and students when extra space or special instruction is needed. In the future, LGI areas could be converted into classrooms to accommodate more students, Aucker said.

In the kindergarten area, Aucker said there is a new enclosed play area with rubber matting for added safety. The new Head Start and PreK program based at Midd-West High School will also use the area, he said.

“The biggest thing that I love the most is our newly renovated library,” Aucker said.

He explained that the library is located at the center of the school and has windows on three walls.

“Anybody walking through the schools and through the halls can see kids reading,” which, he said, “speaks volumes to our program and literacy.”

Going forward, Aucker said the school’s emphasis on literacy, reading and writing will continue. He said incorporating those topics with social studies, math and more, is a great benefit to students.

In addition to facility renovation, Aucker said Middleburg Elementary School has seen significant upgrades in its technology department too.

“We have SMART Boards in every classroom,” he said, which are interactive white boards.

He said there also are wireless capabilities through the whole school and mobile labs with Macbooks that were passed down from the middle and high school schools.

Though teachers and students are occupying the building, Aucker said there are still some cosmetic issues under repair. But, he said, “the end result is going to be definitely worth it.”

Middleburg Elementary School maintains five classes of each grade level, Kindergarten through fifth grade. The projected renovation cost was $25.6 million, Aucker said, and included everything from construction costs, inspections and testing to furniture, fixtures, permits and fees. About 670 students were expected at the school this fall.