New London dedicates its renovated school facilities
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
Around 50 people gathered in the newly constructed New London Middle School entrance and lobby area Friday night to celebrate the end of construction and dedicate the new facilities.
“The turnout has exceeded expectations,” said Superintendent Steve McAllister. “There’s lots of excitement, lots of enthusiasm.”
The evening included an open house where the community could tour the renovated facilities and faculty was present to highlight the changes and answer questions.
“We’ve been getting some great, great comments,” said McAllister. “A lot of them saying what a marvelous addition and remodel it is.”
During his opening remarks at the dedication ceremony, McAllister told the crowd that the updates to both the middle and high schools were a big deal for the community. He noted that one of the biggest changes was the addition of air conditioning to the school, which was noticeable at the start of the school year when it was 95 degrees outside and 72 degrees inside.
“Learning actually took place,” he said, as the students were not distracted and uncomfortable due to the heat.
“We forget sometimes how important the environment we provide to our students is,” Laurie Hempen, school board president commented to the crowd. She said that the school board makes its decisions based on what is best for the kids and gives them the best opportunities.
“We have an obligation to be good stewards of this district and leave it better than we found it,” she continued.
As part of a long list of thank-yous, Hempen thanked the faculty, students and community for putting up with the construction over the past two years.
“We just want to thank you all for the patience and support through all of this,” said Hempen.
The renovation projects included the following:
• At Clark Elementary: added air conditioning; removed abandoned rooftop equipment; upgraded electrical; replaced lighting; replaced ceiling; kitchen service and kitchen equipment upgrades, including new walk-in cooler and freezer; entrance canopy stabilization and repair.
• At middle/high school: added air conditioning by replacing steam heating system with geothermal heat pump system; drainage upgrades to the geothermal field; installed elevator; installed ventilation air units; replaced water heaters; separated sanitary and storm sewer piping system; new ceilings; new lighting; new science rooms; added ADA accessible restrooms; new middle school entrance and lobby; electrical upgrades; asbestos abatement; classroom remodels; replaced plumbing fixtures and piping; added new furniture to science rooms, student commons area and remodeled classrooms; new and remodeled custodial and storage areas; exterior improvements, including sidewalks, drainage, tuckpointing and landscaping.