YOUNGSVILLE — When the majority of Green T. Lindon Elementary students return after the holiday break on Jan. 6, they’ll walk into new school buildings, sit at new desks and no longer have to take a walk outside to a separate building to use the restroom.
It’s a long overdue Christmas-wish-come-true for Principal Kay Victorian and those who have come before who have seen the school double in size and portable classrooms outnumber those within the original school building.
Now, three new classroom buildings fill part of what was the school’s playground area, and for the first time, the school has a multipurpose building that doubles as school gathering space and an indoor gym.
The $9 million construction project begun last year at Lindon was funded by the sale of $30 million in bonds that also funded construction and improvements at five other schools: Youngsville Middle, Northside High, Lafayette High, Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy and L.J. Alleman Middle.
At Lindon on the day after Christmas, about 25 workers helped teachers make the move into their new classrooms.
After the move, the portable classroom buildings will be removed to make room for construction of a fourth new classroom building, and the school’s cafeteria will be expanded.
About half of the school’s roughly 850 students will move out of the portable buildings and into the new classrooms, Victorian said Friday. The new buildings will house grades two, three and four.
“It’s very exciting. It’s also very concerning because we’re working to make sure everything is ready for the students when they return on Jan. 6 so that we’re ready to start instruction,” Victorian said.
Some teachers got a jump-start on the unpacking and acclimating to their new classroom space on Friday.
“I got here at 8 a.m. I wanted to be here for 7,” said Shantelle Robicheaux, a fourth-grade teacher.
In the front of the new classroom, two rows of brown paper bags were filled with textbooks and other learning materials. Empty bookcases and dozens of unpacked boxes were stacked against another wall. The entire back wall, divided into storage cubicles, held social studies and other instructional materials.
The classroom is about the size of her portable classroom and has welcomed amenities — more storage, an in-room sink and separate restrooms just a few doors down for students and faculty.
Victorian reminded her of another bonus: an interactive whiteboard that will be installed and ready before students’ arrival.
“When I first got here (three years ago), I had an overhead projector,” Robicheaux said.
Aside from their new classroom environment, she said, students will like the interactive technology.
“They’re going to love it,” Robicheaux said. “They’re going to be excited about the Promethean (white)board, too.”
Robicheaux’s goal for the day: “To place the desks and for it to look like a classroom.”
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.