BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- What could be better than starting a brand new school year in a brand new school? A total of 550 kindergarten through fifth grade students will get to do just that this Friday in Ballston Spa.
“We really think we have redefined the template for elementary education,” said Joseph Dragone, Superintendent of Schools for Ballston Spa Central School District.
Eighteen months and $24 million in the making, the Gordon Creek Elementary School is replacing the former Milton Terrace South and comes with the latest in interactive technology.
“The equipment that exists today with interactive whiteboards, laptops, being fully wireless, it really engages the students and opens up opportunities that they didn't have ten years ago in terms of inner-activity,” said Jeffrey Palmer, Principal of Gordon Creek Elementary School.
Outside of the new, state of the art equipment, the building itself is 17 percent more energy efficient than the minimum energy code requirements. The school is part of a $50 million renovation project throughout the district, approved by the community back in 2010.
“What that says, the value our school community has on education, is just absolutely tremendous,” said Dragone.
The focus moving forward will be on renovations of the district's three other elementary schools, as well as the middle school and district offices.
In a time when schools are facing tremendous budget struggles, Dragone said the renovation project is a testament to what the community values.
“When you can renovate facilities and when you can provide these kinds of opportunities for kids that were embraced by the school community, that doesn't happen every day. It speaks so highly to what the Ballston Spa School community feels about education,” said Dragone.
The entire renovation project is expected to be complete by 2015.