Area schools get upgrade

By Casey Peacock: PNT staff writer

For some area students and teachers, the second half of the school year will bring some new changes, as Brown Early Childhood Center and Dora schools open up new additions at their schools.

Dora schools are getting set to be completely up and running in the new addition of their school, said Dora Superintendent Steve Barron.

“We are not 100 percent running yet, but we expect to be by the end of the week,” said Barron.

Ongoing for several months, the new addition will provide more updated classrooms and technology for the students and staff. Upgrades include a new cafeteria, library and media center. Computer labs and a more elaborate science lab have been built.
The design allows for everything and everyone to be more accessible, according to Barron.

“It’s a big difference, and big change from what it was before,” said Barron.

Throughout the construction, students were having to utilize other buildings in the community. Now that the addition is complete, students and staff will once again be housed within the school, said Barron.

“We’re just ready to get our school back in order,” said Barron.

Earlier PNT articles show that an estimated $7 million would be spent to upgrade the buildings on the Dora school campus. The project also upgraded wiring, plumbing, and doors and windows.

At BECC, contractors have taken the last year-and-a-half to build the new $4 million addition to house the growing number of kindergartners in the area.

Initially, the new addition was set to be ready at the start of the new school year. Setbacks caused the opening to be delayed until after the Christmas break.

Faculty, staff and students have said they are excited to be moving into the new addition, and start school in a new classroom, said Principal Jackie Burns.
“We’re excited about starting in our new school,” said Burns.

The new addition has 12 classrooms, that are broken into three pods. In each pod, are four classrooms, that are color coded, in red, yellow, green, and blue. This will help the students find and identify their classrooms, said Burns.

“The new classrooms are designed for young children,” said Burns.

Each new classroom is equipped with a big storage closet, stove and refrigerator, and a small bathroom, that is shared by two classrooms, in each pod. The classrooms are also larger, at 1,200 square feet, versus 650 square feet in the old classrooms, said Burns.

“We’re real proud to have this in Portales,” said Burns.

For kindergarten teacher Lynne Walker, the new bright and sunny classrooms are a blessing. With more room to utilize, Walker will be able to have more interaction with her students and parents, she said.

“We love it, the size of the room is what we are excited about,” said Walker.

“I think it will just enable our faculty and staff to continue to provide quality education in surroundings that are much better suited for children,” said Burns.