Public response was overwhelmingly positive at the open house held at the new Pineville Elementary last Tuesday evening.
“Everything I heard was very positive,” said PES Principal Donald Clay. “Everybody was impressed and said it was a beautiful school. They were pleased with all the amenities we had.”
Nearly 400 people turned out to get a look at the new school.
“We had no clue how many were coming ,” Clay commented. “I was overwhelmed.”
The 500 cookies offered as refreshments were gone in less than an hour, he reported.
“I heard no negative comments at all,” said Clay.
The move to the new school, which opened its doors on Jan. 2, has gone well.
“It’s been a very smooth transition,” Clay stated. “The kids were nervous that first morning, but they got with their teacers and their teachers could show them where everything was, they really settled in.
“They’re very excited and pleased to be here,” he added.
Clay praised the PES staff, which worked throughout the Christmas break to get the school ready.
“The teachers put in a huge amount of time,” he commented. “I had teachers in here working on Christmas day and and on New Year’s day.
“They worked long hours,” Clay said. “They were outstanding. I’m very appreciative of their dedication and hard work. They didn’t want to be behind when they came back (from the break). They wanted to go right to instruction.”
Huff Consolidated Principal Carolyn Hatfield and her teachers were among the visitors to the open house.
“Mrs. Hatfield said it looked like they had been there all year,” Clay noted. “The maintenance crew Jeff Brewer had here worked a lot of hours and we’re very greatful,” he continued.
Clay called the move “a massive undertaking.
“I would say we had, at a minimum, 2,500 boxes (of materials),” he said. “When they emptied them, the hallway was piled full of empty boxes.”
Still to come is the Minuteman for the front of the building. There will be landscaping and paving in the spring.
“We have to do some adjustments,” Clay said. “Just minor things.
“Everthing is working real well,” he remarked.”The kids are relaxed and taking instruction. They’ve adapted very well.”