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New building ‘feels like home’

February 8, 2014
By Nicole Walby - Staff Writer ( , The Advertiser-Tribune

BASCOM "Fantastic," "wonderful" and "blessed" are words that Superintendent Nichole Jiran uses to describe her time spent in Hopewell-Loudon Local Schools' new K-12 school building.

"This building feels like home," Jiran said.

The two-story, 132,000-square-foot building was completed in May.

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The new Hopewell-Loudon?Local School District building opened at the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Since then, Jiran said, it has been like being in any other building, working out the kinks and other normal building issues.

Jiran said one issue is classrooms on the south end of the building see more exposure to the sun and the light glares on the computer screens.

"We have had to just make adjustments and have had to add shades," she said.

Between the two buildings is like night and day, Jiran said.

"One difference is with the new building, there is a consistent temperature," Jiran said. "Another nice feature is there is only one key to the building. In bad weather we are not having to dig around for the right key."

The building has been divided into elementary and high school wings. In each of the wings, there are several cut-out areas, where students can work in groups or complete missed tests or assignments.

The technology also has made a difference in the new building, Jiran said.

"The educational opportunities are better and the children are more comfortable in their surroundings," she said.

All classrooms have an overhead projector that projects onto a white board. Computers also can be hooked up to them to show data or any other lessons.

The media center or library is down the high school wing and is for all grade levels. There is a reading room in the southeast corner and there are electric blinds that can control the lighting.

Senior Levi Heldman said he still is getting accustomed to the new building, but everything is going well.

Heldman said his favorite aspect about the new building is the Media Center.

"The technology makes it easier to adapt with the different changes," Heldman said.

Adam Huffman, also a senior, said the building is much nicer and is more "homey."

"The new building is welcoming and a great facility to send kids and has raised the education standards," Huffman said. "Also it is nice to have air conditioning and heat that work."

Heldman and Huffman said it was sad to see the old building go.

"There were a lot of memories there," Heldman said.

Huffman said, "But there are more memories to be made here."

The former building was demolished in late summer.

"Not being there is bittersweet, but it is time for us to move on," Jiran said.

The building also is equipped with an elevator and additional cushioned seating throughout for reading or additional group work. Throughout the building, the H-L logo is visible on the floors, clocks and even the numbered door plaques.

Second-grade teacher Michele Sayer has been teaching at Hopewell-Loudon for 16 years.

"I love the new building," she said. "It is clean and healthier and with the AC and heat, kids are able to stay focused all day."

Sayer spent the first half of her career at the former building. She said it is sad to see it go.

"There is so many more teaching opportunities," Sayer said. "The building is cozier; it feels like home."



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