Posted at: 09/04/2012 6:35 PM
Updated at: 09/04/2012 6:53 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Woodson Opens With More Space
(ABC 6 News) -- The first day of school always comes with lots of excitement.
But there was extra reason for excitement at one school in our area. Because today, the three R’s stood for reading, writing ... and room.
"We are standing in the new wing at the Woodson kindergarten center, which offers six brand new classrooms," said Woodson principal Jessica Cabeen.
The Woodson expansion also included new student and staff bathrooms, a new conference room and a new office area.
"Which then offered our old office into a new special education classroom," principal Cabeen said.
“It allowed us also to move the play centers out of the gymnasiums and they can have their own rooms now and we can utilize the gymnasiums for phy-ed purposes," added Austin schools finance director Mark Stotts.
Since it opened seven years ago, Woodson has been experiencing growing pains.
"We're projecting we're going to have right around 419 students in that building," Stotts told us.
“We just have had that increased enrollment that has been coming up, and we have been planning for this as well," said principal Cabeen.
It’s allowed Woodson to reduce class sizes: "We run between 23 and 25 right now," principal Cabeen explained.
And since ground for the expansion was broken on a snowy day in February: "You can see that we've got plenty of space and lots of working space and a carpet square for circle time and large group setting," principal Cabeen explained as she took us on a tour of one of Woodson’s six new classrooms.
"With the increase in technology we have the smart boards that are in every classroom. Within the next two weeks each classroom teacher will have six iPads they will be using to integrate technology at a higher level."
And by the time this brand new school year comes to an end: "I'd like the takeaway to be that they've got a good foundation on which to build, a good educational foundation," said Stotts.
The Woodson expansion carried a price tag of about 2.6 million dollars.
It was approved by voters at the same time they approved construction of a new 5th and 6th grade intermediate school.