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.