Broken Arrow's newest elementary school opens its doors

Thursday, August 12th 2004, 10:07 am
By: News On 6

Some kids in Broken Arrow are not only starting a new school year, but stepping into a new building.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson has more on Broken Arrow's new sense of Liberty. Broken Arrow's newest school is called Liberty Elementary, a building the district hopes will give it the freedom to keep growing, without overcrowding.

Last year around this time, construction crews were just starting to turn dirt on land at 44th and 209th East Avenue. Thursday, Liberty Elementary opened its doors to more than 600 students.

The 70,000 square foot building couldn't come fast enough for neighboring schools that were overwhelmed with students. Broken Arrow voters passed a $7.5-million bond issue in February of 2003 to handle rapid growth in this area.

New homes are still going up every day in the shadow of Liberty Elementary. The school still needs a few finishing touches, the front hall is missing tile, but the principal says the first day went well. Karyne Gates, Liberty Principal: "I have been very surprised it’s gone very smoothly. Anytime you open a new building there's lots of things to figure out and we're working through it and so far everything's going very well."

With a brand-new building, it's easy to forget just last year Broken Arrow was suffering from deep budget cuts. It cost the district one of its oldest buildings, but its spirit lives on in this new school.