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The Suburbanite
  • Springfield opens doors on new era

  • Rarely is a snow day a bad thing for students and teachers. For students and staff members at Springfield High School and Junior High, an extra day off due to sub-zero temperatures delayed the first day in the district's new high school and junior high complex.
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  • Rarely is a snow day a bad thing for students and teachers.
    For students and staff members at Springfield High School and Junior High, an extra day off due to sub-zero temperatures delayed the first day in the district's new high school and junior high complex.
    When the first day in the new building arrived on Jan. 8, the response was enthusiastic.
    "I am thrilled. I feel like I had another child and (I) know college is paid for already," Principal Cynthia Frola said, noting that Regency Construction has had people on site doing whatever needed to be done.
    The original date for the move was to the start of the school year. It was delayed due to issues with bounce in the floors. The problem was corrected and the district hit its revised goal of opening the building following winter break.
    The new building has many benefits for the district.The school has increased enrollment this year by 100 students and anticipates that increase to continue in years to come.
    For students, the benefits have been tangible and immediate.
    "The new school is beautiful. The new tables are clean and the chairs are comfy. The band and choir rooms are amazing. They have wonderful acoustics and I'll love spending time there," student Megan Smith said.
    Many extra hours of work went into opening the new building. Cafeteria workers had to learn the new equipment, teachers needed to pack and unpack, schedules need to be set, training on technology had to be done and bell schedules were adjusted for two schools in a single complex.
    Still, the adjustments have been worth it.
    For Superintendent William Stauffer, the response to the building has made all of the hard work worthwhile.
    "It has been a great beginning. It is great to see such pride and excitement on both the students' and teachers' faces. All in all, it has been a very smooth transition from our two buildings into one," Stauffer said.
    The building can be a little confusing. Students Ross Reeves and Aaron Rathburn noted that they have three minutes between classes instead of the five in the past and many students' lockers are on different floors than their classrooms.
    Technology plays a huge role in the new school and teacher Susan Elliott praised the way the new school utilizes technology in the learning process.
    "I am astounded by the inclusion of all the technology helping me to incorporate 21st century skills in my teaching and preparing my students for a work environment based on problem-solving and the use of technology," Elliott said.
    For art instructor Lisa Smith, having more room for her students to work has been the biggest plus for her new classroom.
    Page 2 of 2 - Frola said that fans from other schools attending basketball games have enjoyed the three video screens in the cafeteria that broadcast the game live so those enjoying food and drinks can keep up with the game while they eat.
    Pride is the first word that comes to mind for 1999 Springfield graduate Beau Grubbs.
    Grubbs is now an intervention specialist for the district and recalled the difficulties of attending the old Springfield High school.
    "As a student, we all dreamed of having a facility that could compete with all the other school districts," Grubbs said. "When I was hired in to my dream job of working at Springfield High School in 2010, it was clearly obvious that our high school building did not improve throughout the years. With one week down in our new building, it feels like a dream come true to work in such a nice facility."