BOWLING GREEN - Seventh-grade science teacher Paula Williams stood in the middle of her spacious new classroom and soaked it all in: the clean red wall facing a bank of laboratory stations, built-in cabinetry, and plenty of natural light.
She declared it - and the entire new Bowling Green Junior High School - just right.
"Just the look of the building is going to motivate students," Ms. Williams said. "Who wouldn't just walk in and want to learn?"
Junior high staff members last week got their first look inside the new $27.5 million junior high and auditorium that have been under construction off Fairview Avenue and West Poe Road.
The junior high band and music rooms are next to the new auditorium, which is connected by a hallway to Bowling Green High School.
Band Director Bruce Corrigan said his new band room is not especially bigger than the old one, but the acoustics are considerably better.
"That's what I'm really looking forward to," Mr. Corrigan said as he checked out his new room, which included an office and two practice rooms. "It will be much easier to hear the problems and fix them."
The new complex, funded by a 28-year, 2-93-mill bond issue approved by voters in 2006, is not quite finished but is on track for move-in this July.
Students are to arrive for the first day of classes Aug. 18.
Assistant Principal Joe Zabowski said he thinks the new school will be good for students, teachers, and administrators.
His new office has a big square window on one wall, a round porthole-style window on the other.
"I like a lot of light so this will be nice," he said. "I'll be able to see the parking lot. I'll be able to see the buses pull in."
In the extra wide hallways, he'll also be able to see students over the tops of their lockers, which are in U-shaped arrangements along one side of the hall.
The design was intended to prevent congestion in the halls by not having lockers lining both sides, Mr. Zabowski said.
The entire 138,000-square-foot school is painted in gray and red - the school colors.
It features common printer areas on each of the two floors, and planning space for the teaching teams.
Eighth-grade classrooms are on the second floor, while seventh grade classrooms along with the cafeteria, gym, multipurpose room, library, and music facilities are on the first floor.
Librarian Patti Rish walked into the new media center, which has dramatic 21-foot-4-inch ceilings, and pointed out where the circulation desk, the computer lab, and other features would be based on drawings she's seen.
"I think it's going to be a good use of space," Ms. Rish said.
As Assistant Superintendent Diane Tache showed the teachers their classrooms, most were overwhelmed by the amount of space they'll have, including abundant storage space.
"Do you think you'll have enough cabinet space?" she asked, then quickly added, "Don't think you can keep it all now. Keep purging."
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