Back to the future: Elementary school students returned to their new schools Monday


BUTLER – Sparkling green greeted visitors to the hallways at the new Butler Elementary School, unveiled at an open house last Thursday.

Eager members of the student council were given a tour of the building by principal Libby Nickoli before the arrival of parents and other students.

She said in 48 hours leading up to the open house, staff did a “phenomenal job” unloading 2,000 MER totes, the gray boxes used to transport items from the old school building to the new one.

The new building has three wings, radiating from the center entrance way. A logo, showing a bright green and silver Colt (Clear Fork’s school mascot) welcomes visitors to the building.

Nickoli said the Colt picture was made in an elaborate way, starting with a metal form. The interior spaces were then filled.

Bright-faced students handed out flyers to people who came to the open house. Many appeared before the official opening time, 6 p.m.

An open house also was held at the Bellville building. The official opening of both buildings was Monday.

Shiny chairs — one named a “wiggle” seat — sat in rooms. One room also contained green stools, which had sort of a “topsy turvy” attribute. The stools have a way of bending easily, which means people might have a bit of a challenge remaining upright.

Teachers and staff were present, some of them putting finishing touches on their new work spaces.

Lisa Kvochick, who teaches second grade, was assisted in her efforts by her husband Mike and daughter Jordan. She said her mother, Anna Baker, 89, of Mansfield, also helped.

She said she started at 10 a.m. and a few empty spots remained. But, she said she “still needed to purge” because so many items transferred had accumulated over the years.

She said the effort was fun, but “exhausting.”

Her room has an Epson overhead projector, and she said she must undergo training on that device. She said “teachers and almost everybody” had arrived to do their work.

Head custodian Buck Divelbiss was wrestling with tables in the new cafeteria area. He said the tables could be turned into benches, but he had to consult a drawing to figure out the correct way to convert the devices.

The cafeteria area can be converted into a seating area, where the benches (nee tables) will face a stage. The stage is in the center of the area, with a gym area behind.

Nickoli said the Butler school has about 350 students. The open house was not for giving out treats — like candy — but was strong on information. The form distributed to people has a listing of school rooms for all teachers, plus reminders about the rules and regulations for dropping off and picking up kids.

A handbook was distributed to families before the holiday break. There is also a link people can use to get to the Butler or Bellville school websites.

The form people received describes the three wings in the building, which contain different areas of study.

  • The “A” wing has the cafeteria, gym and music rooms.
  • Wing “B” has preschool and grades three, four and five.
  • “C” wing has kindergarten, first and second graders, plus title reading and special education.

The form also made it know that the address for the schools remain the same.

Drop off and pick up for kids are at the front doors of the buildings. Arrival time is 7:35 and dismissal is at 2 p.m.

School staffers had said there would probably be two first days back at school, because kids will have to get used to the new layout and other changes.

Photo by Louise Swartzmiller

Parents and children prepare to examine the school building’s layout at an open house last week.

https://www.thebellvillestar.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2019/01/web1_Here-they-come.jpgPhoto by Louise Swartzmiller

Parents and children prepare to examine the school building’s layout at an open house last week.

This is a huge collection of MER boxes, now empty, that were used to transport class room books, papers and other items. About 4,000 of those boxes were used for the effort.
https://www.thebellvillestar.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2019/01/web1_empty-carriers.jpgThis is a huge collection of MER boxes, now empty, that were used to transport class room books, papers and other items. About 4,000 of those boxes were used for the effort.

This table in a kindergarten room awaits students. School resumes Monday.
https://www.thebellvillestar.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2019/01/web1_placemats.jpgThis table in a kindergarten room awaits students. School resumes Monday.

 

By Louise Swartzwalder

Bellville Star