New Year:?Beaty

On the outside, Beaty-Warren Middle School is a throwback to a different architectural era.

Inside, the building now reflects modern technology and safety.

Most of the major interior renovation is complete and the whole job is expected to be complete in January. Students and construction will not mix at the school.

As students walk through the new main entrance on the east side of the building, they’ll pass a display. “We’re going to have this interactive board,” Principal Rhonda Decker said. The board will track energy use in the building as well as energy savings through the new systems installed.

Geothermal wells 16 in the front yard will contribute to that savings. The wells will provide heating and cooling to the office spaces.

New electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems have been installed. In the classrooms, vertical unit ventilators replace the old under-window univents. “It evenly distributes heat throughout the classroom,” Decker said.

It had been some time since Beaty students had seen new lockers in the building. “The oldest ones were there in 1963,” Interim Director of Pupil Services Ruth Nelson said. The newest section of the building was added in 1965. “‘New’ lockers were put in there.”

The art room will feature a kiln for the first time.

“Each grade level does have a designated science lab,” Decker said.

The building’s restrooms have all been remodeled. Some toilets will use recycled rain water.

Solar energy will run motion sensors and the associated equipment in some sinks.

“Everything is being redone,” Decker said. “All of these things are wonderful for students and teachers and parents.”

The students may not notice some of the important changes on a day-to-day basis. “It’s also going to be a very safe and secure building,” Decker said.

Not all of the work has been done.

Some, in fact, was intentionally set aside.

“As a building, we’re going to come up with plans of what they want to add to those (courtyard) areas,” Decker said. Whatever it is – particular plants for green space, perhaps including a water feature – students will come up with a proposal and be involved with design and other aspects of the work.

The courtyards used to sit lower than the floors of the school. Earth has been added to level the courtyards with the interior and those areas are now available for student use – as small-group meeting areas, lunch space, or whatever.

The old front entrance to the school is the third entrance and will only be used as the preferred entrance for events in the gym.

Students who arrive on buses will enter through the new main entrance by the auditorium.

Walkers and students who are not driven onto the school grounds will enter through the door at the north – Third Avenue – end of the building on the creek side.

The building has a new assistant principal – Amy Stimmell – and a new special education supervisor – Erik Leamon – and several new teachers and aides.

There will be two new groups of students joining the school this year. While sixth, seventh, and eighth graders traditionally attend the school, last year, the sixth grade was housed at Warren Area Elementary Center to accomodate the construction. Those students, now in seventh grade, will attend Beaty, and the new group of sixth graders will join them.

A newly renovated school, new students, and new staff, are generating enthusiasm for the school year.

“It is really exciting,” Decker said.