A year-long construction project at Tri-Valley School is finally over, and students and staff now have their school back.
Crews added classrooms, gathering space and a multi-purpose room, and it was all done without the federal stimulus money the district was originally planning to use.
The first thing you notice at Tri-Valley School is the front of the building; it's completely re-done. Inside, crews have added a commons area where students eat lunch.
"It's a lot nicer than what we had before when we were eating in the gym," senior Darren Page said.
"We made this the highlight of the building so when you walk in for an event, you see the commons area. It's just so wide open," Superintendent Terry Eckstaine said.
The school also has some new hallways and classrooms, along with a bigger band room and fine arts area. Construction impacted nearly every area of the building during the last school year.
"Kids were really good, teachers were really good about it and all the inconveniences we had last year. It's really worth it now," Eckstaine said.
One thing that's not done yet is the football field. It's a very new, remodeled field, and students say they're happy to have the state-of-the-art facilities.
"I'm really looking forward to playing on the football field. We have one of the nicer sports complexes around now," senior Carl Johnson said.
Students say they're proud to show off their school, and the updates make them better able to compete with other districts.
"They had a lot nicer stuff, but now we have just as nice as they do. We've got the same opportunities they do," Johnson said.
The district was given around $4 million in stimulus money to fund the project, but decided not to use it because too many strings were attached. Instead, administrators used pre-approved loan money.