Emily Baucum, News On 6
SAPULPA, Oklahoma -- Like many Green Country communities, Sapulpa made the difficult decision to close neighborhood schools. But it's one of the few to invest millions of dollars and open a new building.
Jillian Carner's only five, but that's old enough to know where her bus is going.
"I'm going to kindergarten," she said.
There's been a bounce in her step ever since she walked the halls of Holmes Park Elementary. And it came with a price tag of more than $17 million.
The Sapulpa school board did its homework and decided it was cheaper to start from scratch than upgrade two older buildings.
That's when the board decided to close those two schools and move all 700 students to a new one.
"We wanted a brand-new school and the community said we needed to build it in the middle of town," said Dr. Mary Webb, Sapulpa Superintendent.
For a new building, it certainly has a lot of history. It was built on the site where Holmes Park Stadium sat since 1927. That's where football games and other town activities were held for decades.
It's also environmentally friendly. The districts waiting for the official word, but from the paint on the walls to the skylights -- the school was built to meet the tough standards of Gold LEED certification.
"It teaches the kids that our planet is definitely worth saving," Webb said.
"I was amazed. I came from an older building and just the wonderful touches they've given it," said Holmes teacher Theresa Fischer.
Fischer spent the day decorating her new classroom.
"It was fun to be able to pick out the things that match the colorful building," she said.