PRYOR, OK —
“Welcome to Jefferson,” said the elementary student tour guide.
The tour was at Pryor’s Jefferson Elementary School’s open house Jan. 28, highlighting the completed construction project.
One such guide was fifth-grade student Kai Parker.
“Notice there is a new facade for the front of the building, including a digital sign and seating area,” Parker said, beginning the tour.
He paused in the remodeled foyer and administration office area, which is more secure for the safety of students and staff. A television is mounted on the wall and features school announcements and reminders.
The school has new floors, wall treatments and ceiling tiles, giving it a more cohesive and modern look.
Parker saw the before and after and said he really appreciates the changes.
“We have new remodeled restrooms,” said Parker. “And this is the teacher's workroom where the teachers do their stuff.”
Prior to this bond-funded construction project Jefferson staff did not have a designated workroom or conference room.
A new conference room has been added for use by teacher, parents, and outside counseling and testing agencies,” said Principal Linda Tincher.
Through the existing cafeteria is Parker's favorite part of the remodel, the gym.
“The gym is completely new and we can use it for P.E. Classes and whole-school activities,” said Parker. “Before, we had to take turns using the cafeteria which wasn't the best for the teachers.”
The creation of a gym allows teachers more flexibility in scheduling and allows for a broader-range physical education curriculum.
“Jefferson's new facilities includes a new gymnasium which allows for P.E. to be held in a much larger space. Students can now be more active and participate in basketball, archery, and other large group games and activities. The school has added an after school Martial Arts Club,” Tincher said. “The hallways have been completely remodeled and tack panels for grade level galleries to display student work and artwork have been added. Updated landscaping for the front of the building and raised gardens in the back of the building are planned.”
“This is the cafeteria, they remodeled the stage area. And this kitchen and serving area are completely new and state of the art,” said Parker, adding that lunch time flows a lot more smoothly now.
“The project also added a new music room and and art/science enrichment lab, which serves multiple purposes throughout the week,” said Tincher.
Concluding the tour, Parker stated the total cost of the renovation was $2,585,392.
When asked if he thought the school was worth the investment, Parker calmly said, “yeah, probably.
“The school looks a lot better and we have new classes. The kids really like it and parents like that we're learning more,” said Parker.
“This has changed the dynamic for our kids more than any other project,” said Pryor Public School Superintendent Don Raleigh. “We appreciate the support of our community, we truly do. The community has really gotten behind us in these improvements for our kids.”
Raleigh said the improvements, district-wide, show the students the school is investing in the and supporting them.
“We want our students to do well,” said Raleigh. “And there are some good things happening at Jefferson.”