Red Rock Elementary School completes phase one of remodel

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Rachal Pinkerton/Sun Tribune Teacher Julie Soelter and her first-graders started classes in their newly remodeled classroom last Monday.

ROYAL CITY — On Monday, Feb. 25, Red Rock Elementary School in Royal City started classes in its newly remodeled wing.

The remodel was the result of a broken pipe that flooded the school two years ago.

“It was one of those unfortunate things that turned out well,” said Red Rock Elementary principal David Andra.

After the flooding, the school learned that it qualified for state funds to do a total upgrade on the building. Construction began on phase one of the project in August.

“We have added a lot of safety features,” said Andra. “We’ve added security doors upstairs, outside doors to classrooms downstairs, plus technology.”

Some interior walls have also been moved to equal out the size of the classrooms. Previously, classrooms were different sizes.

“We tried to make the classrooms standard and equal,” Andra said. “We added a classroom by being creative with walls.”

“The teachers are excited. They have been living in a construction zone. It is giving them a shot of excitement for the rest of the year. They get to see what the rest of the building will look like. It’s exciting.”

The building project is being conducted in three phases. The first phase was completed on Friday, Feb. 22. Over that weekend teachers, staff and community volunteers moved classrooms from one end of the building to the other.

“It was amazing that we were able to do the transition over a weekend,” said Andra.

Andra said that staff who were not part of the move volunteered to come and help.

As classrooms were being moved, temporary safety walls came down from the completed phase and were erected over the now vacated classrooms, signaling the start of the second phase of the remodel.

According to Andra, phase two of the project is slightly bigger than phase one and will be completed during the summer. Phase three of the project, which includes remodeling the middle section of the building and connecting the upstairs portions of the building, will be started at the end of this school year and be completed before the next school year. They will also be installing an elevator, which is a new addition to the building.

To help better facilitate the remodel, 11 classes in the second and third-grades have spent the school year in portables outside of the building. The younger grades have been in the school and were the ones that switched classrooms.

“The kids have done amazing,” said Andra. “They have been living next door to this and haven’t tried to go into the off limit areas. The teachers have been awesome about keeping kids safe.”

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