The new Richmond Hill Middle School was buzzing with teachers and staff Monday as the first day of pre-planning for Bryan County Schools began.
The 205,000-square-foot building will be filled with more than 1,500 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders when the first school bell of the year rings Friday, and teachers are excited.
“They’re eager — they’re all excited and full of energy,” RHMS principal William McGrath said Monday. “They are very excited about the new year and the new facility.”
One of those teachers, eighth-grade science teacher Cindy Youmans, was working Monday to get her classroom ready for her new students. She was excited not only about the new building, but also for the year.
“I’m ready to meet the students,” Youmans said. “I’ve been excited all summer. I’ve never worked in a brand new school.”
Wendy Dauphinee, also an eighth-grade science teacher, said she is impressed with the new facility.
“It’s breathtaking, it really is,” she said. “It’s a state of the art building — I’ve never seen a school like this. I’m very proud to be a teacher here.”
Dauphinee said not only is she ready for the students to see the building, but she anticipated the reaction of visitors.
“I’m excited for other sports teams to come to see what we have and this building,” she said. “We are so proud.”
Youmans said she, thinks the students will be very proud of the building, as well. She added she was thankful to those who support the education special purpose local option sales tax, or ESPLOST, which helped pay for the majority of the building.
Youmans and Dauphinee said the move and transition from the old middle school location on Harris Trail Road was pretty smooth.
“We had to pack and that made us clean out and organize our things,” Youmans said. “All the boxes were delivered here. It was a pretty smooth transition. We were able to come in early and unpack if we wanted.”
But although the transition went well, Dauphinee said it will take a while to get everything in order.
“It’s everyone’s first time in this school so we need to be flexible until we work out all the kinks,” she said.
Chorus teacher Tina Butler was busy unpacking boxes of books and music Monday. She said she was happy with the building and her classroom, which includes an office, practice room and her favorite part — a library.
“I have a shelf for each letter of the alphabet,” she said. “Now I can use the boxing system to store music. I can immediately see what music I have and how many copies I have. It’s just really cool I have all this space for extra stuff.”
She believes the students will really appreciate and enjoy the new chorus room.
“I’m really pleased with my room,” she said. “It has a whole lot of possibility, and I think the kids will be really excited about it.”
Read more in the Aug. 1 edition of the News.
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