Since 2011, residents have been anticipating completion of the new K-12 Hopewell-Loudon Local School District building. Students, staff and community member were able to tour the new facility Saturday.
The teachers and staff are to begin moving in to the two-story, 132,000-square-foot building May 28.
The tour began with a view of the high school gym called the Scarlet Gym. The Gray Gym is for the junior high and elementary school students. The main hallway, called Main Street, is the main thoroughfare that runs through the entire building.
The building is separated into the high school and elementary school wings. Each grade level teacher will have his or her own work room and teacher lounge area equipped with restrooms.
In each of the wings, there are several cut-out areas, nooks where students can work in groups or for students to complete missed tests or assignments, Elementary Principal Jennifer Losey said. There also are windows to these areas so teachers can see the students working.
"We want to further their learning experience," she said.
All classrooms have an overhead projector which projects onto a white board. Computers can also be hooked up to them to show data or any other lessons, Losey said.
The media center or library is also down the high school wing and is for all grade levels. There is a reading room in the southeast corner and there are electric blinds that can control the lighting.
Losey said that the librarians will begin to move books Monday.
"Sixth-, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders will now have science labs ... the general science classes never had a science lab before," Losey said. "This will enhance learning through lab space to do experiments and hands-on learning."
For the high school science labs, the rooms are set up in two areas, one for teaching and another for experiments.
"This is great if there is an ongoing lesson or an experiment that takes multiple days," Losey said. "Labs can remain set up as others come in and use the room."
The building also is equipped with an elevator and additional cushioned seating throughout for reading or additional group work.
"For the kindergarten classrooms, there will be two rooms with their own restooms and own outside play areas," Losey said.
The building is equipped with many of the same features and some new ones, Losey said.
Throughout the building, the H-L logo is visibble on the floors, clocks and even the numbered door plaques.
A live auction of all the furniture and other equipment form the old building is to take place June 8. The old building is to be demolished in June. The Chieftain gym that was built in 1988 will remain as a third gym for students and the community to use.
Mary Moore, 1966 Hopewell graduate, said that the new building was tremendous.
"It will be something for the kids to look forward to," Moore said. "They will get a better education. It is just terrific."