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Visitors impressed at McKenzie School’s Open House Sunday

Visitors to the McKenzie School campus got to view the many improvements made during an open house on Sunday.

One of the biggest transformations was the creation of an up-to-date media center in the space formerly occupied by the school auditorium.

A flat-screen wall-mounted TV in the center gave attendees a chance to view a slideshow of the construction process.

“We’ve also got about 50 new computers between our new high school and elementary computer labs,” said principal Randy Williams.

Two new classrooms were also created, including a science classroom for teacher Abbie Ballew, who is also thrilled with the new lab separated from the classroom by double glass doors.

“It is beautiful,” she said with a grin.

Gleaming new bathrooms for both the high school and elementary students were also added, and students and staff can now travel between the elementary and high school wings without being exposed to the elements, thanks to a new corridor connecting them.

While it will be an adjustment to the loss of the auditorium, where “we did everything,” the school will still be able to hold stage events, said counselor Carol Williams.

“Our gym is now air-conditioned; we have a $35,000 20’ by 40’ portable stage and a new sound system. We also have special flooring to lay down in the gym for special events,” Mrs. Williams.

The school also has 80 new desks; a new water drainage system, new fire alarm system in the main building, and handrails on the front and renovations to the front stoop.

Access for the handicapped is more readily available with ramps at several entrances.

The Builders Club beautified the outside of the school with flowers and shrubs and also provided money to paint the school’s concession stand.

“A lot of people worked hard to make our open house possible, providing the decorations, the refreshments, and acting as servers and volunteers,” the principal said.

“We’ve had a good crowd and we are very proud of the additions and renovations to the campus. We really appreciate Superintendent Mike Looney, the Board of Education and McKenzie Mayor and Council for all their support of our community school. Without their help, this wouldn’t have been possible today.”