Students in the Tea Area School District kicked off the school year Aug. 20. Nearly 400 elementary students started their year in a new building.
Construction on Venture Elementary on the south end of town began in April 2018 and construction was nearly complete for the first day of school. Construction crews were busily completing tasks in the school last week to be ready for learning this week.
Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said the construction companies have been wonderful to work with, as well as custodial staff to get the building ready.
“There’s a lot of people that did a lot of work to make this happen,” she said. “Everybody puts a lot of work in. The teachers have had positive attitudes and are excited. It’s like Christmas.”
As of the first day of school, landscaping and work on the two playgrounds still needed to be completed. The sign for the building has to be custom ordered to match the other buildings in the district so that was not ready for opening day.
Work on the gym, which the city will share with the school district, needs to have the floors sanded and finished. With the wet year and the high humidity over the last few weeks, it has been a slow process for the gym.
Venture Elementary will house junior kindergarten through fifth grade. Currently, they have one room of junior kindergarten, three sections of kindergarten, two sections of first grade, three sections each of third and fourth grade and two sections of fifth grade.
The building is not operating at capacity for the 2019-20 school year. Lowery noted they have classrooms already built for future growth that the district expects.
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