The new Lake Primary School has been closed since May. Students will attend classes in the renovated building for the first time.

LAKE TWP.  When students return to Lake Primary School next week, they'll be walking into a completely different kind of classroom.

The former Uniontown Elementary closed for extensive renovations last May. The $10 million overhaul includes a 9,700-square-foot addition to the building, which houses students in pre-K through first grade.

Students were temporarily relocated to the former middle school. On Monday, kindergarten and first grade students will attend classes in the new building for the first time. Pre-K students will begin classes Tuesday. Their first day was pushed back to allow for a licensing visit.

The remodel is part of a $93 million project that took the district from five to three buildings. It included the demolition of three schools, construction of a new Lake Elementary School for grades 2-6, and an expanded and renovated high school.

The project should be completed by the end of the year, said Superintendent Kevin Tobin.

"We're just grateful," he said. "We're just thankful for our community and the support there in changing the direction of our district for decades to come. We're blessed."

The new Lake Primary School will welcome students and parents for a closed open house Sunday. The public can tour the 57,438-square-foot building at a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

"If you worked or attended the former Uniontown Elementary, you won't recognize it," Tobin said.

Here's some of what to expect:

Flexible furniture and learning spaces.

Classrooms will have garage doors that expand learning areas and allow collaboration between classrooms. Teachers in adjacent classrooms can open their doors to work together. The design allows for more ability grouping. High-performing kids can "stretch a little further" and students who need more help can get that attention, Tobin said.

Instead of students sitting at desks in traditional rows, classrooms are designed to be flexible and fun. Teachers can easily rearrange furniture into different groupings and designs. Some rooms are outfitted with "wobble stools," which allow fidgety students to move around a bit while seated. The stools are also in the new elementary school.

The new spaces "have really changed the scope of our learning," Tobin said.

New technology

"The integration with technology is top-notch," Tobin said.

Classrooms are outfitted with 75-inch flat screen interactive media boards. The touch-screen boards are a step up from white boards and allow about 10 kids to work at the board at the same time, Tobin said.

Starting in kindergarten, students will be assigned a tablet computer that they'll use daily.

Lots of colors

The school is designed to be colorful and inviting for young students. Each room will have an entryway painted in a different vibrant color.

"It's Roy G Biv off the hook," said Tobin, referencing an mnemonic for remembering the colors of the rainbow.

The building also has a library media center and a new gymnasium.

"It's very different, very exciting," he said. "Our kids are going to go in wide-eyed. It's going to be cool to watch."


Reach Jessica at 330-580-8322 or jessica.holbrook@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @jholbrookREP.