Touring a future school
Public checks out new Champion complex
CHAMPION — Champion Middle School fifth-graders Joseph Kusmierek, 11, and Bruce Click, 10, both will have the distinction of having attended four different school buildings in the district when the new PK-8 school complex off state Route 45 opens next summer.
The two students, who will be in the first sixth-grade class in the building, were among the many guests to tour the school complex site Wednesday during public tours. Additional public tours are set 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Board of Education President Kelly Boyle said the tours let the public see the planned $31 million complex that will house preschool to fourth grades in one section and grades five to eight in another.
”A lot of community members are bringing their children in and seeing where everything will be. Everyone has been ecstatic and can’t wait for it to be done. They are getting an idea of what the classrooms will look like, especially the rooms that open up into pods for children to work in groups,” Boyle said.
The project will be under roof before the end of the year, with interior work to be done in the winter with opening in summer. Boyle said there will be future tours when the school is done next year.
Brett Hendricks, president of BSHM Architects, said he answered many questions, mostly where the classrooms will be or where is the cafeteria and the main office.
”This will be a much bigger school than what students are used to. There is nothing to compare it to. The larger space is better suited for today’s students and today’s education,” he said.
Sixth-grade teacher Susan Knepper, who has been a teacher in the district for 23 years, said the new building will be ”an outstanding” addition to the district in helping to educate the students.
Evan Knepper, a seventh-grader, said he is excited that he will have one year at the new building. He spent time photographing ceiling beams that students autographed for the new school.
Parent Mindy Abrahamson said her daughter, Morgan, 9, will be in the first fifth-grade class to be in the new school and her son, Andrew, 6, in the first first-grade class.
”They love seeing how big the cafeteria, gym and the rooms are. It’s exciting,” she said.
Parents Jennifer Kusmierek and Pamela McKinney watched as children excitedly walked room to room Wednesday.
”I attended three buildings in Champion and my son will attend four. We couldn’t believe how big this building is,” Kusmierek said.