The big move to fill it up

IMG_9628Box by box the books were moved.

With the walls still being painted in some areas and barely dry in others,  students and staff began the process of of moving into a new home for Creswell Middle School.  It was a chore with a fun outcome; a new school with fresh paint, two levels, modern technology and more room!

The books were moved box by box with everyone lending a hand.  One by one they streamed through picking up a box of books from the old library and carrying them to their new home;  a bigger library on the second floor of the new building.  It was a step up.

The Register Guard wrote a piece on the event.  It was published in the newspaper on Friday, March 20, 2009:

Byline: Nat Levy The Register-Guard

CRESWELL – A stampede of middle school students rushed into the old hallways of Creswell Middle School on Thursday, emptying out their lockers, discarding such items as old banana peels and sweaty gym clothes.

Students are in the process of extricating their imprints from the 68-year-old school, which officially will be retired at the end of the school day today.

After spring break, the new Creswell Middle School – just a few feet away on Oregon Street and made possible by voters’ narrow approval of a $13 million bond levy two years ago – will open.

But after students finished cleaning their lockers Thursday, another, more physically demanding task loomed.

Transplanting the library.

Students at every grade level, and from several different classes, spent the afternoon moving hundreds of books from a cramped library space to a new bookdepository that surely rivals any school library in the state. In fact, the space is so large that the school may need more books just to load up the shelves.

“I don’t think we have enough books to fill it up,” school librarian Kim Jordan said. “But we’re going to try.”

As students slipped into the old library, Jordan began handing each kid a shoebox full of books. Some shoeboxes contained large, heavier reference books. Others only had a few novels.

Some students were given a little more than they could carry.

“They gave me Shaq’s (Shaquille O’Neal) shoebox,” insisted one sixth-grader, who did everything he could to hang on to the gargantuan box of books.

For most of the students, Thursday’s adventure was their first chance to see their new school. And it did not disappoint.

The new two-story building, which is nearly twice the size of the old school, wowed the middle schoolers.

“This school is huge, dude,” said eighth-grader Zack Blain, who transferred to Cres well from Florida earlier in the year.

“The whole school smells like new school,” said another sixth-grader.

In between giving them book loads, teachers sometimes had trouble keeping students from checking out the new cafeteria, their new shiny red lockers or the state-of-the-art gym.

But after 30 minutes of climbing up and down the stairs to the new library, and lugging books back and forth between the two rooms, the fatigue began to show. Students’ excitement over the new school began to wane, and the slightly muggy weather wore them down. Getting a small book load was a delight for many of the students.

“Yay, a small one,” sixth-grader Alexis Plaster said excitedly when she was handed a diminutive shoebox containing only five short novels.

Students also moved chairs, plants and technological equipment into the building in preparation for its opening. The school district just got its temporary occupancy permit Wednesday, allowing officials and students to begin the moving process.

The new school isn’t finished yet, said district business manager Jennifer Heiss, but it will already have a lot to offer students.

During the library changeover, construction crews worked on the cafeteria. They will continue to work on the school throughout next week before the students come back a week from Tuesday. When they do return, Heiss said, they will be immersed in a new environment.

“The old building was very small and very used,” Heiss said. I think the students will find (the new building) a very welcome learning experience.”