Just weeks before school began at Boulton Elementary School last year, six inches of water covered the floors in some classrooms, ceilings were hanging down, and walls were heavily damaged.
“This year is a totally new start,” said Principal Laura Bond. “Last year we were living out of boxes after major damage from the flooding. This year there are all new classrooms and air conditioning and technology improvements.”
More obvious to those who’ve seen the school, is a large new addition that includes a new activity room, offices and foyer.
“The biggest comment from the community is that it makes the building so light and cheerful,” said Bond.
Almost 9,000 square feet of new space is now up and running, a significant addition to the 32,000-foot school. The activity space is double the size of the cafeteria, which was used previously, and the offices are more spacious than the single classroom school staff squeezed into last year.
Improvements have been needed for about 15 years, said Bond, who is in her fourth year as principal at Boulton.
When construction began on a new roof last summer, a major rainstorm that hit after the old roof had been removed resulted in the extensive damage just prior to the start of school.
An insurance payment for the damage from the construction company that removed the roof, Jacobsen Construction, allowed for even more improvements than those that were paid for by funding from parts of the past two bond measures.
“Jacobsen stepped up and they’ve done a fabulous job,” she said.
Windows are now double-paned, teachers have more storage space, walls are new, technology is updated.
“The community was so helpful when it flooded,” she said, “but they’re very appreciative this year. Last year’s start made this year even better.”
The school and its new addition will be open for all the community, said Bond, who especially hope to welcome past students, teachers and principals, on Wednesday Sept. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.
“We want to show off our wonderful remodel,” said Teresa Beauregard, school secretary. The open house is also to celebrate Boulton’s 51st year. “Doesn’t everyone over 50 get a face lift?” she asked.
The school will hold their major fund-raiser, a 5K run, on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 9 a.m. Cost is $20 per individual and $60 per family in advance, $5 more on the day of the race.
The school is located at 2611 South Orchard Drive.