Tuesday was the official start of the 2010-11 academic school year, and for some elementary schools, it was a new beginning.
"The first day of school went very well," Clay Community School Corporation Supt. Dan Schroeder said. "The halls are clear, ceiling tiles are placed, the carpet is down and the classrooms are set up and ready."
Tuesday was the first time parents and students were able to see the inside of the schools since the conclusion of the 2009-10 school year in May. Though changes and additions were noticeable on the outside, walking inside the buildings was a completely new experience.
"I think it went well," East Side Elementary Principal Mary Ray said. "The kids are excited and amazed at the difference."
The first day of school is used as a time to help readjust students to being back in the classroom. Ray said teachers took students around the building and explained the new layout as well as what rooms were off limits. Those rooms were signified with a yellow tape across the door.
"This is an adjustment period," she said.
Though there were some concerns raised by parents about the amount of dust, especially at East Side, Schroeder confirmed the corporation is working to combat the problem.
"We have had a few complaints and we are attempting to rectify it," he said. "We have extra help to mop up the dust."
Teachers are reverting back in time a little. With computers and telephones not hooked up in the classrooms, many are keeping attendance on paper again.
"It has been wonderful," East Side Elementary third-grade teacher Pam Fischer said about moving to a different school and working through the construction. "I haven't had any problems with the construction and the staff has been great."
At the end of school last year, the cafeteria staff at Forest Park Elementary cooked breakfast and lunch for the students at East Side. However, this year, the cafeteria staff at East Side is returning the favor and cooking food for the students at Forest Park.
A few miles down the road, Van Buren Elementary Principal Gail Williams was all smiles as the school day came to an end.
"It was a really good day," Williams said. "We had many positive comments from parents and the kids are adjusting well."
Though there were a few minor problems, Schroeder was pleased with the amount of work the teachers and maintenance personnel were able to accomplish.
"The teachers worked all day (Monday) and into the night," he said. "I want to thank everyone for their hard work, from all the employees to the construction workers."
Ray and Williams shared the same sentiments.
"We have an amazing custodial and maintenance staff, they've really done a great job with all the cleaning," Ray said. "The teachers for working on preparing the classrooms, everybody has been wonderful."
"Everyone has had a positive attitude, from parents, teachers and staff," Williams added. "Everything went smoothly."
According to Schroeder, East Side, Meridian and Staunton Elementary are scheduled to be completed in December, where as Van Buren, Forest Park and Clay City Elementary should be completed in October.