A year in the making, the renovations at Manchester’s Verplanck Elementary School are nearly ready.
When students return to class next week, they’ll see their old school transformed with new classrooms, modernized technology, art spaces and more.
“They get the chance to be in a 21st century school,” said Principal Nicolas Jones Jr. “We’re doing any and everything to make sure we have a seamless transition. We’re providing all the necessary pieces that going to allow them to be successful in all subjects from science to reading to math.”
Work began on the building at the end of the 2018 school year and crews were still putting finishing touches on Monday, before the children return.
There is a new wing to connect the building’s two sides, improved gym and art spaces, a sensory garden and amphitheater.
The school is also growing in size. Nearly 200 additional students will attend this school year. The building still has additional capacity for about 25 more kids, seats the superintendent believes will be filled in the upcoming years.
Verplanck’s renovation is the final step in a project to modernize all Manchester elementary schools, something the superintendent hopes will boost student achievement.
“I think students will be stunned and then really excited and feel as though the school system and the community really values their education based on the investment that was made in these buildings,” Superintendent Matt Geary said.
Leaders at Verplanck said upping reading scores and overall student achievement is the top priority, and they believe giving stuents a better environment in which to learn is a big step in improving education.
“We have STEM classrooms and 21st century classrooms. So we expect to turn up the volume of education both from an esthetic look as well as the content,” Manchester Board of Education chairman Darryl Thames said.