By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- It's back to school for Tulsa students, but for some, it's more than the first day of classes. It is a brand new start. Clinton Middle School opened the doors on a brand new building on Thursday.
The floors were muddied a bit from the 6th, 7th and 8th graders traipsing in from their summer vacations, officially breaking in the new school.
"My dad said it's better than some of the colleges he went to," said 8th grader Tyreece Short.
"Everyone's pretty excited to be here," added 8th grader Audra Cheatwood.
But nobody is more excited than 7th grader Devin Ponder, who sees promise in the new school building.
"Woo! It feels kinda weird because it's like a brand new start. It's a brand new start and you get a clean chance to be in a new school. A brand new school," said 7th grader Devin Ponder.
The $20 million school was paid for through the 2005 bond referendum. It has things that spell school like lockers, a library and a cafeteria, but it's the state of the art technology that really makes the school stand out.
Those features include everything from wireless networks to fully smart tech classrooms. The classrooms have interactive whiteboards that can be controlled using a pen or just a finger.
"We have surround sound in every classroom. Teachers wear microphones. Every student has ability to hear the teacher and hear them well. We have laptops, mobile units with computers. The latest and greatest," said Clinton Middle School Principal Shelly Holman.
One of the new amenities is this auditorium which seats 700 people. And, the school says it's a new beginning for the west side. 17:52
"It's been a major thrill for us to come in and open this brand new building in TPS and for the west side Tulsa culture," said Clinton Middle School Principal Shelly Holman.
The building is also eco-friendly. The temperature is controlled using Geothermal wells. But, that doesn't matter to the students. They just love the possibility the new school has to offer.
The inside was ready to go for the first day of school. But, Principal Holman says the parking lot still needs to be finished and some beautification like landscaping. She says that will all be completed in time for Clinton Middle School's open house which will be in September.
While not every TPS student is starting the new year in a new school building, many are having to adjust to other changes.
Prices for breakfast and lunch in the cafeterias are slightly higher. And, there are new start times. Most middle schools begin at 8:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:30 p.m. Classes at high schools start at 9:10 a.m. and let out at 4 p.m.
The new times could help the district save more than $500,000.