‘Genuine enthusiasm’ for new CMS | CraigDailyPress.com
Nicole Inglis

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‘Genuine enthusiasm’ for new CMS

Patience a virtue in reconfiguration

Tour schedule

Tour schedule for today at Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave.

• 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.: Sixth-grade students and parents

• 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Seventh-grade students and parents

• 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.: Eighth-grader students and parents

• 1:30 p.m.: Ninth-graders who are interested in viewing the new building

• 5 to 7 p.m.: Open to the public

Tonight, for the first time, the community will have the opportunity to wander the soft yellow, naturally lit corridors of the new Craig Middle School.

Beginning at 5 p.m., community members can receive a tour or simply get a glimpse of the new facility, which will open for the first day of school Aug. 31.

A $29.5 million bond issue passed in 2007 funded the new 90,000-square-foot CMS.

Tours for incoming students also will take place today, with sixth-graders at 10:30 a.m., seventh-graders at 11:30 a.m. and eighth-graders at 12:30 p.m.

The tours will focus on core academic areas.

Each grade has its own “pod,” including lockers, a communal area, restrooms and classrooms for math, science, language arts and social studies. The pods will be each grade’s home in the school, intended to keep the grades separated.

Students will get to view the library, art room, shop rooms and counseling center.

CMS principal Bill Toovey said part of the orientation will focus on respect for the new building.

“We want to emphasize that this is a really fine facility, and it comes with the expectation that everyone in it will treat it appropriately,” he said.

But he said he was not concerned with students disrespecting the new space.

“I just think it’s a good conversation to have,” he said. “But I think the kids will look at the building and say, ‘Wow, what a fine facility this is.'”

For the most part, Toovey hopes the tours will act as an orientation to the basics students will need to know for the first day of school.

“We really just want to get them oriented to the campus for the first day,” he said. “This is where you wait before school starts, this is where you eat lunch. There will definitely be some changing protocol, but we still want to focus on respect, responsibility and safety.”

Part of the new safety protocol is a new main entrance that will feature a locked vestibule to control who comes in and out of the building during school hours.

Another issue will be the new parking protocol, including an entirely new bus loop for Sandrock Elementary and CMS.

Toovey said many of the changes will require patience on the part of parents, teachers and students while adjusting to the new campus.

“It will be good for parents to come by and look at it,” he said. “It’ll all be a part of the growing and learning of our new campus.”

Overall, Toovey said he senses the excitement that comes with anticipating the start of every school year. But this year, it also marks the culmination of a long and arduous project.

“It’s been quite the project,” he said. “Now it’s just that excitement leading up to the students getting here and getting on with student learning. But it happens like that every year. There’s the newness of the year and students looking at their education from the vantage point of one grade level higher. There’s a genuine enthusiasm going into the year.”

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or ninglis@craigdailypress.com.