We’re happy that students at Claiborne Elementary School will be starting their school year in a beautiful, new $17.2 million school building.

What happens inside a classroom, of course, is more important than what a classroom looks like. But as a community, we communicate, through the quality of our public school buildings, our respect for the missions those buildings are meant to serve.

Students can be forgiven for looking at dilapidated public school buildings and concluding that school must not be a very important place. If education is important, after all, then why would any community allow its schools to physically decline?

The new Claiborne Elementary off Foster Drive is the largest elementary school the East Baton Rouge Parish School system has built since it began constructing new schools again after a quarter-century of no school construction.

Much remains to be done in improving the physical condition of many East Baton Rouge Parish public schools. We applaud the arrival of the new Claiborne Elementary, and we look forward to more improvements in the physical condition of East Baton Rouge Parish schools.