South Point gets ready for new schools

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SOUTH POINT — Right now, it’s mainly concrete floors covered with cement dust, exposed wires and shiny insulation covering furnace ductwork. But to South Point Superintendent Ken Cook it’s still a beautiful sight.

And in about another month, it will become even more beautiful as the ongoing work at Burlington Elementary will turn it into an actual school building.

It’s been a long time coming for the South Point District. When school starts up again in mid-August, there will be two new elementary buildings and the end of a decades-long effort to bring all new schools to the district. Almost two years ago, the district opened a new facility for the middle and high schools. All came from the passage of a tax and bond levy that had to be on the ballot four times before village residents voted it in.

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Both South Point and Burlington elementaries are being built in a similar style with each building covering approximately 54,000 square feet. Both will offer kindergarten through fifth grade with around 22 classrooms each.

With a recently approved redistricting plan, there will be 440 students in each building; approximately 150 students will be bused to the Burlington facility.

The architecture resembles an elongated bungalow offering a one-floor plan with two long classroom wings. The exterior is made up of split-face block covering the lower half with brickwork on the remainder.

There is a three-dimensional shingle pitch roof with ice guards along the sections above the walkways to protect pedestrians in inclement weather.

Each of the classrooms will feature a Smart Board, the computer-based interactive learning tool that was one of the driving forces for modernizing classrooms.

“It is the focus on technology,” Cook said.

Classrooms are a combination of cream and gold with a recurring tile design of blue and gold, the school’s colors, in the floor covering. Tile work in the hallways periodically will feature Pointer Paws, a reference to the school’s mascot.

Each classroom in the primary grades also features individual cupboards for the younger students as well as oversized closet space for the teachers.

A stage area is featured between the cafeteria and the larger gym area enabling the performances for a variety of audience size.

“This is unique,” Cook said. “Performances can be seen from either side. This is a multi-function stage.”

Also part of the layout are a music room for vocal studies; a media room with the studio for the daily student broadcasts on the school television station and a carpeted reading corner; a computer room with 25 units and a reception and office area.

Burlington should be ready in about a month; South Point is expected to take until the first part of August.

“It is amazing to watch it come up from the ground up,” Cook said. “I just hope kids can enjoy it from many years to come.”