Sioux Falls, SD
Crews are hustling at Axtell Park School to get as much of the renovation finished before the first bell rings on August 18.
The central Sioux Falls building has undergone a major overhaul this summer, taking the former Axtell Park Middle School into a completely unique building.
Erika Paladino-Hazlett is the principal of the school that is merging several behavioral and learning programs under one roof.
"I can't attest to what is out there in the nation, but I can tell you this is an unbelievable opportunity for the kids that we teach and the class that we have," Paladino-Hazlett said.
By bringing together nearly 400 students to Axtell Park, Paladino-Hazlett says it will better serve the students who need more than what a traditional classroom offers.
Unlike a school where all the classes begin and end at the same time, at Axtell Park, Paladino-Hazlett says the schedules will be off-set so the students outside of their programs don't bump into each other.
"So we can keep that sense of being a small and secure for the kids who really need it. My guess is that our kids would be very nervous if they knew they were coming to school with 400 kids every day. They don't like that, nor do they want that," Paladino-Hazlett said.
And while the renovations won't be completely finished by the first day of school, Paladino-Hazlett says it will be enough to make it feel like home to her students.