There are four new walls inside Jefferson Elementary School that make up Clare Sykora's classroom. There are new windows, new furniture, and new opportunities.
"Instead of walking ten minutes to the music room, I get to go ten feet to the music room," Sykora said.
Sykora taught special education in a portable at Jefferson for the past two years. Once separated from the main building, her students are now inside and included.
"Now we get to be among everybody else. My students now get to feel more part of a community," Sykora said.
Other teachers and students will have plenty to enjoy on the first day of school as well. There's a new library with the school's first computer lab. Smartboards and projectors have been placed in some classrooms. The oval shaped school has also been built around a new courtyard, that's only accessible by the students and staff.
Fifth grader Kate Hildenbrand is excited about the new lockers among many other things.
"I love the new field, it's just awesome," Kate said.
She's also looking forward to a separate eating and play place for once.
"Definitely, that we get a new gym and a cafeteria," she added.
The new school drew a lot of criticism from neighbors worried about traffic congestion, and changes to the park. Teachers like Clare Sykora say the changes will help kids strive.
"My kids really have a nice space here. They're able to have a big window, lots of light, the high ceilings are great for an atmosphere here," Sykora said. "We just have a really welcoming space now."
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Tuesday morning at 8:30 to officially open the new school.
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