Thursday, December 18, 2014

Valley Oaks Elementary Opens New Building in January

When Valley Oaks Elementary students and staff return from winter break on Jan. 6, they’ll return to their familiar location on Westview, after 18 months of transition at the former Edgewood Elementary building.

The mounting excitement is palpable as teachers begin getting classrooms ready. Valley Oaks dismissed early in the days prior to winter break; teachers will be working over break as well.

Unpacking crates of manipulatives on a recent Saturday at the new Valley Oaks for her pre-K, teacher Jennifer Gillie is excited and has spread that excitement to her students.

“We’ve been getting the kids excited,” she said. “They’ve helped pack the crates and they know it’s going to their new school.”

She’s also excited that she’ll get to help design some outdoor areas on the reconfigured campus. She’s particularly interested in a butterfly garden, she said.
 Inside on this Saturday, the new school is a flurry of activity as workers move crates for teachers to unpack while construction crews install finishing touches and run down punch lists to get the building ready.

Workers outside the building attach canopies and lighting fixtures to the building, while others lay fresh sod. The landscaping will be ongoing.

Students and staff at Valley Oaks will adjust to more than just a new building – their start time reverts back to 7:30 a.m., considerably earlier than the 8:40 a.m. start time at the Edgewood transition campus.

Principal Gary Henry said that he’s been reminding parents for weeks to start preparing their students for the earlier start time, sending out the information in every communication to parents.

Valley Oaks Elementary is the 12th school rebuilt as part of the 2007 bond program, rising as a two-story facility on the site of the former building. Rummel Creek will be the 13th and final elementary school rebuilt as part of the 2007 bond.

Valley Oaks also houses the district’s SBISD School for Highly Gifted Students.


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