Park View students using church while building is completed
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)-- Classes begin Monday in Bradley County, but about 300 students will head to a church building, instead of the school building.
Remember the heavy rains of last September that caused so much flooding? Well, that created a delay in the construction of the new Park View Elementary School. Opening day has been delayed, so a Cleveland church has come to the rescue.
The new Park View Elementary School was supposed to open next week, helping relieve overcrowding at Michigan Avenue, Oak Grove and Taylor Schools. But contractors say they need two more months to finish the job. That's why students will attend class, temporarily at North Cleveland Church of God.
"I think parents realize this is a better solution. We're going to make the best of it," says Principal Deb Bailey.
Principal Deb Bailey and Superintendent Johnny McDaniel knew they'd have to make temporary arrangements, and were thrilled when the church stepped in to help. The church already provides space for after school programs, and McDaniel says teachers, parents and students should make the adjustment smoothly.
"This facility has good drop off for car riders and buses, and we appreciate North Cleveland Church of God," says Superintendent McDaniel.
Will the addition of 300 elementary students interfere with the daily goings on at a busy church? Not according to the pastor.
"I really feel strongly if we go well, they'll go well. We look at it as a partnership," says Pastor Mitch Maloney.
Park View students can look forward to a cozy café at lunchtime, a full sized gymnasium, a small theater, and a computer lab. It's clean, roomy, and available for as long as they need it, though contractors say it shouldn't be too much longer.
"They have told us late September, maybe a little earlier, we're hoping so," says McDaniel.
Some of the newer technology, like smart boards are being installed in the new Park View School, so for the time being, Principal Bailey says her staff will teach "old school" and she says that's really not such a bad thing.