Newport Elementary holds open house

By Amanda Hanson  - bio | email feedback

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT)- Newport's new elementary school, combining Castleberry and Albright elementary, held it's open house Sunday afternoon to provide an opportunity for the tax payers to come out and see what the new building had to offer.

"Absolutely a need where the community stepped up with our sales tax increase to make this happen, and I'm thrilled," says parent Kristen Jackson.

Sunday the school opened it's doors to the public giving parents and students the chance to walk the halls. "This is a state of the art facility," says School Superintendent Larry Bennett. He says the 250 thousand square foot facility is equipped with energy efficient technology, and safety was a priority. "The entire center of the building is a safe room with concrete walls and concrete ceilings," Bennett explains. So incase of a storm or fire the school is prepared.

"The facility is amazing," says Kristen Jackson, who had kids as both Castleberry and Albright elementary, and with a second and fifth grader having them at one location is huge.

"Her big brother is here to help her get on and off the bus and things like that. It's just making our family life a lot easier," says Jackson

But, with the new road leading to the school still under construction, many parents had questions about what to expect come August 19th.

"The road would be the biggest thing and probably drop off and pick up," says parent Leann Rosenbaum.

"We would like them to drop them off at the other school, the main high school/junior high campus, and then we will bus those kids over to the new elementary school," Bennett replies. He feels this system will help reduce the traffic on the gravel access road. The same procedure will take place in the afternoons. While Bennett knows the first week will be a learning process, he has high hopes.

"Once everyone gets settled down and gets in a routine, kids are just durable. It won't take them long to know the system. They'll know the expectations, and I'm very optimistic," says Bennett.

Bennett was pleased with the turn out Sunday and says while it will be difficult in the beginning, he's asking parents to be patient.

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