By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
Students returning to Stewart Elementary next month after the summer break will see big changes the second they walk in the front door.
Principal Adam Miller proudly shows the construction being done to what was once the office and main entrance area to visitors. Previously, guests entering Stewart had access to the entire building without having to stop at the office, which was located around a corner. With the new project, the main entrance will lead into the office before leading to the rest of the facility.
?We always look every year for ways to make the facility more safe and this is a very good option for our family and visitors who come to Stewart,? Miller explained. ?It?s something we had always been looking at ? trying to figure out how to make the front entrance more secure.?
He said former superintendent Jeff Dicks and district technology director Jeff Brock had worked to design the new entry to the school after the project was slated to be done. The project is scheduled to be complete when students return on Aug. 23.
The new office area now consists of a main room that will house the school?s two secretaries, the principal?s office, a nurse?s office and a conference room. Miller said the former nurse?s office will now be an entrance to the gym and the gym entrance by the front doors will be closed.
Previously there had also been the problem of parents and visitors new to the school not knowing where to go when first entering Stewart. Miller said it is now very easy to know where to go upon entering the building.
Miller also spoke of the increased safety measures the new entrance will provide.
?In this day and age we hear of all kinds of different school emergencies that take place so it is important we have a good account of who is in the building and who is approaching the building and just having good security measures to ensure our students are safe every day they come here,? Miller said. ?Our kids are our most prized possessions and we want to do everything we can to keep them safe and make sure that not only are they learning but in an environment that is protected and safe from anything that may occur.?
Miller also said there are plenty of other smaller projects throughout the school to be ready for students in the fall. He said every year the custodians do a great job getting the rooms cleaned up for classes. He also said the second phase of the playground project is also being done this summer. The rubberized surfaces that were not installed last year are being surfaced as a couple of new pieces of equipment are being placed in the playground. Miller also said Stewart teachers are attending trainings and doing their homework to be ready for the students to come back.