The first major project funded by the 'half-cent' sales tax is now ready for the students to enjoy. Surfside Middle School proudly unveiled the last portion of its renovations for the start of this school year.
"You come back in and not only do you have a fresh start, but you have a fresh start every year. This year it's just extraordinary because everything about it is fresh" says Dr. Sue Harrell, Surfside Middle School's principal.
The nearly 8 million dollar project, funded by the 'half-cent' sales tax, broke ground in the summer of 2011, renovating major portions of the schools buildings. Students spent the first part of last school year in portable classrooms. Half of the project was completed in January, but this school year, the wait is over.
"I see the excitement. The appreciation that the kids have when they've got something beautiful, they're very proud. They want to take care of it and they want to be able to enjoy it," says Kathy Easom, a 6th grade teacher at Surfside Middle School.
This school year, students can enjoy a newly renovated cafeteria with new tables, the finalized gym and library.
Administration, the guidance wing and building five also have a fresh look.
"Basically, aesthetically, everything is new. We have new flooring, new ceilings, new lighting, beautiful new paint, new furniture. It's just like a complete refreshed new look," says Easom.
Additionally, without the Half-cent Sales Tax, technology like Smart Boards and computers for new testing requirements wouldn't be possible.
"Amazingly, when you look around and you have this new lab that will accommodate 40-45 students you know you've made tremendous strides to being able to test them in a reasonable amount of time," says Harrell.
The last piece of the puzzle is the pre-engineering technology lab which should be complete by next week.
The next project to be funded by the 'half-cent' sales tax is already underway at Callaway Elementary.