DeKalb Middle School is sporting a new look in time for the new school year.
Throughout the building, the walls have been repainted in the school colors of red, blue, and white and new floor tile has been put down in most of the school to replace the carpet. "We're excited about it. We think it gives the school a whole new look and we hope the kids are excited about it too," said DMS Principal Randy Jennings in an interview with WJLE Thursday.
"We've got a brand new paint job all throughout the building. We had the yellow (painted walls) but now we've gone with school colors. We've got blue and white all throughout the building. We've put down new tile throughout the building. We have very little carpet left in this building. The library, computer lab, and two small offices still have carpet but hopefully we'll get that out too within the next year. We also plan to renovate our restrooms," said Principal Jennings.
"It's a brand new school. I believe everyone will feel a sense of pride when they come in and see that all of this work has taken place for their children," added Amanda Dakas, Assistant DMS Principal.
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said he is impressed with the transformation, which has largely taken place over the summer since school has been out. "It's almost a totally new facelift for the school. I believe it will bring a lot of pride to the school. When something is really nice, people want to keep it really nice. I think the students will enjoy it. Mr. Jennings has told me about some of the football players who were here recently and were just amazed at the difference in the school from the time they left until now. The better things look and the better conditions we have, the better off its going to be for all the people in the community. I think the parents, students, and staff will be amazed to see the difference," said Director Willoughby.
Principal Jennings said he is also proud of the recent renovation of locker rooms in the old gym and the development of a new weight room. "The locker rooms in the old gym, where our football is housed, we renovated those last school year. Coach (Tad) Webb did most of it himself. We updated one of the locker rooms. Put new lockers in. The high school built them for us. The other (project) was a major renovation. We made a weight room for the football team that we're also going to utilize for our PE program and probably other sports throughout the year," he said.
Director Willoughby said he is appreciative to the staff who pitched in to help. "This has been the biggest face lift the school has had since it opened in the 1970's. Getting rid of a majority of the carpet in the school was also a really big deal. As you look around this school, with the exception of actually putting down the tile, all the painting was done by people already employed in the school system," he said. "Some of our custodians were painting. Some of our staff who are employed during the regular school year, they have been painting. We had maintenance people who have worked really hard. Our custodians have put a shine on this place. It's made a big difference," said Director Willoughby.
DMS students will also notice other changes as they roam the halls this year. "We have the addition of some new character education and academic banners throughout the school with some inspirational sayings and quotes. So everywhere the kids look it's going to be new. It's going to feel new," said Assistant Principal Dakas.
"We also have the addition of two new math teachers and a writing lab which will enhance what we're doing with common core," she added.
To keep up to date on activities at DeKalb Middle School visit http://www.dekalbmiddleschoolsaints.com/