News 12 This Morning / Tuesday, August 2, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Along with new supplies and new teachers, more than 600 students in Columbia County will attend their first day of class in a brand new school.
The first thing you notice inside the halls of Baker Place Elementary are the splashes of color on the wall. The halls are still empty, but you can hear teachers like Dotti Hughes setting up their classrooms.
"It's a unique experience to walk into a new facility and push buttons for the very first time," Hughes said.
As Principal Leeann Fleischauer gave us a tour she explained at her previous school, Cedar Ridge Elementary, there were more than 1,000 students.
"The school was built to relieve overcrowding from Cedar Ridge and Lewiston Elementary schools," Fleishauer said.
The school's three wings have 51 classrooms for its 647 students. The 16 cameras placed throughout the school help keep an eye on their security.
"There is a security feature here as well. A waiting area for parents, kind of a buffer before you get in the actual school," Fleishauer said.
Back in the classroom, technicians check to make sure equipment like power projectors work on the first day of class.
"All of the software, everything is in the projector," Hughes said. "It's easy to come in in the morning, have your lessons and have them tabbed on the side of the white board."
The classrooms also have Promethean boards installed.
"Very excited about creating a safe comfortable environment for these children to learn," Hughes said.
Principal Fleishauer said parents are happy to see some relief from overcrowded classrooms with the added space.
"Just the excitement from the parents. You can not only hear it, you can feel it," Fleishauer said. "They were in awe of this building and what it looked liked."
The school will have its open house on Aug. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. Parents will have a chance to meet with the teachers and walk through the halls.
As Columbia County's population grows, the school board is also planning to rebuild several older schools including Columbia Middle School and Evans Elementary School with more space in the span of the next five years.
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