Cecil Whig - - AC­CENT -

fam­i­lies are ex­cited.”

Though many stu­dents and fam­i­lies got their first look at the school dur­ing an ice cream so­cial wel­come on Fri­day, that didn’t dampen their ea­ger­ness for the first day. Mada­lyn Wal­ter, who started fifth grade on Mon­day, was happy to be back in the ren­o­vated school and es­pe­cially liked the li­brary, which she said re­minded her of the Per­ryville branch li­brary.

“(The school is) re­ally cool. It’s re­ally, re­ally big,” she said. “It has 12,000 mil­lion hall­ways.”

Stu­dents and their par­ents be­gan ar­riv­ing as much as half an hour early for the first day, with many stop­ping to pose for pho­tos on the new sculp­ture of a hand that sits at the front of the school. Once in­side the class­rooms, the stu­dents sat at new tri­an­gle-shaped desks that can be grouped to­gether in many dif­fer­ent ar­range­ments.

Other ren­o­va­tions to the school in­cluded cre­at­ing a new se­cure en­trance, fill­ing in the school’s court­yard to build a me­dia cen­ter and ex­pand­ing the gym. The class­rooms in the school were also en­larged be­cause PVES was first used as a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion school, so many of the class­rooms were smaller than typ­i­cal class­rooms.

The class­rooms were the high­light of the school for fourth-grader Noah Hunter, who said he was glad to be back in Per­ryville with all his friends af­ter two years at Charlestown.

“I have a nice teacher, and the sched­ule is pretty good,” he said.

His mom, Kathy, was also a fan of the ren­o­vated build­ing and said it’s nice to have her two sons back at a school closer to their home.

“It makes me proud to have my kids come here be­cause it’s new,” she said. “Ev­ery­one seems so ex­cited.”

Ham­mer said the first morn­ing went “smooth as silk” for the ren­o­vated school’s roughly 400 stu­dents. Her and her staff are thrilled to fi­nally have the stu­dents in the class­rooms, and the teach­ers are eager to cre­ate the learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments they’ve been work­ing hard on all sum­mer, she said.

“We’re ready to start a new chap­ter at Per­ryville El­e­men­tary School,” she said.

The school, which was orig­i­nally built in 1958 and then ren­o­vated again in the 1970s and the 1980s, will of­fi­cially be ded­i­cated dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Sept. 29.

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