Macon R-I Elementary School students will see a lot of changes when they head back to school next week.
The hallway is sparkling with newly installed tile. The prominently white flooring features two rows of black tile near the outer sides.
"Our 'block walk' tile will help to keep the students in line when classes move in groups through the hallway," said Elementary Principal Ernest Motley.
The old entry to the elementary gym has been filled in with cement blocks and the wall received a fresh coat of paint. The new door to the gym is now located in the interior hallway.
Also in the gym, is a new loft storage. A new garage door has been installed in a storage area on the east side of the gym making easier access for loading and unloading supplies.
"The whole elementary project has gone well," said R-I Director of Operations Marshall Gingrich. "We still have some last minute things to be done, but the teachers started to roll in early this week."
The only part of the renovations that will not be completed by the time school starts is in the kitchen area.
"New fixtures and cabinets for the kitchen work areas have not arrived yet," said Gingrich. "We expect them to be here in the next week or two."
New flooring has been installed and the serving area in the cafeteria is ready to feed students. All food for the elementary cafeteria has been cooked in the high school kitchen and delivered warm to the elementary school for serving for several years, so the incompletion of the area will not be a problem when school starts.
"This delay is not going to stop us, we will be serving our regular lunch on paper trays until the new dishwasher can be installed," said Motley. "This is nothing new for the students, we have already been using paper trays on early out days."
The elementary teachers were more than ready to get into their rooms this week to begin preparations for the first day of school.
"I have 11 new certified full-time staff members this year," said Motley. "We have a total of 33 classrooms for kindergarten through 5th grade."
New elementary art instructor Heather Mallett was glad to be able to get in her classroom.
"I came in on Monday and have been back a little each day working on getting ready for the first day of school." she said.
Parent Angie Eymann volunteered her time to help paint a castle in the classroom of Vickie Stockton. "My son Cooper was in Mrs. Stockton's kindergarten class last year and with the class grouping will be in her first grade class this year," said Eymann. "I knew she had a lot to do to get ready, so I volunteered to help out."
Page 2 of 2 - Macon R-I teachers will officially return to school on Monday, Aug. 19 and 20 for inservice workdays. The students return to begin the 2013-14 school year on Wednesday, Aug. 21.