Our new middle school is almost complete. It's a state-of-the-art "green school". It only cost the taxpayers $28 million! Well, we were in desperate need of repairs. The school, unfortunately, had not been kept up over the years, and now we finally have our new school. They will be utilizing as much natural outside light as possible. It has a clean air system. The roof collects the rainwater for flushing the toilets. The rain gauge for this can be seen when you walk in the lobby. It's a complete learning building. The ceiling is exposed, so you can see all the pipes and where everything is. It uses geothermal heating. Did you know what geothermal heating was when you were in middle school?
The school also recycled as much of the old materials as they could. The gym's beautiful wood floor was refinished. Many of the wooden doors were refinished and used again. The cafeteria now has more options for buying food. Instead of having two long lunch lines where your only choice was the full lunch menu, now there are different lunch counters where you can get exactly what you want, with healthier lunch options.
My husband and I actually went to this school when we were young. I didn't know him back then, though, because he was a year behind me. One of the worst parts was lunch. Many, many times the lunch lines were so long that the bell would ring to go to my next class, and I would just be walking back to the table with my lunch. All I could do was set my lunch on the table, shove a couple bites of food in my mouth, and dump the rest in the garbage (a good reason right there to home school).
There were many cons of this reconstruction. The cost - $28 million! Maybe it was needed. It's supposed to save the tax payers throughout the years. That just sounds like a lot of taxpayer money to pay now. The school is within walking distance to our house. It's part of the reason why we bought our house. My daughter and son could have been walking to school together this year, the last year they will be able to. My daughter got to experience the old building for sixth grade. Then for 7Th and this half of 8Th grade she was bused off to an old school in the city that starts an hour earlier. None of these kids are getting enough sleep. My son is now in 6Th grade and he is bused off to an elementary school (when he should be in the "big kid" middle school) and gets home at 4:00 (an hour later than he usually would). By the time he does his homework, it's time for dinner. He has very little free time. I also think about the exercise the kids aren't getting. A year and a half missed of walking to and home from school. My daughter's school now doesn't even have a library in it.
Also, the new school will be a pod system. I don't think I care for this idea. They even called it a "school within a school". Each grade is divided into two groups. Each group has it's own pod of classes. The kids just switch classes within their pod. If you have a friend on the other "team", you can only see them during lunch or possibly gym class. There's no hallway to walk down. I just remember when I was little. We'd meet our friends in the hall and say hi as we went to our next class. Also, the different grades eat with their own grade. How are the sixth graders ever going to get to know the eight graders? There's no togetherness. Even to leave the school, there's a exit in every pod.
Well the kids will go to this new school after the spring break. We're all very excited. My son is going to ride his bike to school! We will get a chance to see it at an open house the week before they get there. I will take some pictures of all the cool new "green" features and post them later.