BA District Holds Topping Out Ceremony For New School

Friday, October 14th 2016, 2:08 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Progress is being made on Broken Arrow's soon-to-be 15th elementary school, which is expected to be ready next fall.

School board members and parents spent the day touring the district to look at a few different projects - whether it’s as big as the construction site, or as small as a flower.

Construction crews placed the final beam on the new elementary school near 71st and 209th East Avenue, which will be named in a few months. 

The $15 million school will have more than 30 classrooms; and Michelle Bergwall, with the district, said the gym will serve as a tornado safe room.

"It's really just the right thing to do, moving through and adding facilities to our district. So we are adding a tornado safe room here and at Sequoyah Middle School," Bergwall said.

The district is growing by two or three percent each year, and administrators expect the school to alleviate overcrowding.

But the number of students isn't the only thing growing in the school district.

Kindergartners at Liberty Elementary are growing daisies, first graders are focused on herbs, and second graders have a Hispanic-themed garden. 

Fifth-grade teacher, Courtny McFarland said, "We actually picked a sweet pepper earlier this week. And the kids were super excited because they were like 'we grew this!' which is fantastic."

McFarland said the goal goes beyond getting a little fresh air during the school day; she's able to teach math, science and social studies with the plants. 

"They don't have to be stuck inside at desks all day. They can roll around, they can do whatever they need to, as long as they're learning and having fun,” she said.

McFarland said the students are passionate about their gardens, giving her a reason to be proud to show them off.

The district also plans to build a middle school at the south end of the site - that project is still a few years away.