And with that, for the first time since the April 2011 tornado that ripped through the city, the middle school was whole again. This was the day the eighth-graders were welcomed back as their new wing was complete. As Catoosa County superintendent of schools Denia Reese said, “This is last piece of major disaster recovery construction to be rebuilt after the tornado.”
The 42,000-square-foot wing completes the middle school and contains 14 new classrooms and three science labs. It is not just for the eighth-graders, who had only begun their middle school careers at the time of the disaster, but all of the school's 750 students will get use out of the rooms for band, art and computer classes, according to Reese.
Doug Suits, the school system’s director of facilities, said the building is extremely energy-efficient, easy to heat and cool.
“The middle school (students) especially like the mall atmosphere the new wing conveys.”
The hallways are wide and open, with high ceilings. The chorus room is especially nice, with a wall of windows facing the outside.
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