MISSOULA – Classes won’t start for another few days but the move-in is already underway at Missoula’s newest elementary school.
But in fact, teachers at Cold Springs Elementary have been boxing up their classes for months, preparing to set up shop a couple of miles away at Jeannette Rankin Elementary School.
“Yeah, this started since the time, since the summer. I mean teachers have been putting stuff away knowing full well that we’re going to be making this move. But it’s a monthly process, for sure,” said Principal Christina Stevens.
It’s now crunch time at the new campus off Lower Miller Creek Road where teachers and construction workers are bustling about finishing projects and setting up classrooms.
Boxes of books and class supplies are everywhere but are quickly being moved by an army of not only teachers but “volunteer” spouses too.
The new school features an open and airy design, from the lower grades that will be on the lower level, to the fourth and fifth grade students on the second floor, with a view that will extend not just over the surrounding neighborhood, but from Lolo Peak to Snowbowl on a sunny day.
The school’s classrooms are a vast improvement over the crowded conditions at Cold Springs, with features that match today’s education, such as multiple “shared learning” spaces, capped by the main lobby where students will be able to gather on the stairs for school-wide presentations.
While there’s still a tremendous amount of work to be finished in the coming days Stevens is confident the new school community is up to the transition.
“I’ve been trying to communicate with parents a lot. They’re probably sick of hearing from me, but I just have to say that they’ve been so amazing and understanding of the process and allowing us to do what we needed to do,” Stevens said.
“The teachers are holding it together and I’m so proud of them. And the kids, I mean they’re just so resilient. You know, they just go with the flow.,” Stevens added.
The plans still call for making the final move on November 8 and November 9 with the first classes starting on Monday, November 12. A community open house will be scheduled after everyone gets settled.