Building Futures

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Troy City Schools Superintendent Lee Hicks discusses the new Pre-K building at Troy Elementary School in Troy, Ala., Tuesday, July 24, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Classrooms nearly ready for new Pre-K program at city schools

At about 2 p.m. today inspectors will be walking through an addition at Troy Elementary School. But in August, the footsteps will be those of 4-year-olds beginning a pre-kindergarten program through Troy City Schools.

“We’re excited,” said Superintendent Lee Hicks on Tuesday as he walked through the halls, the smell of paint and fresh-cut wood very present.

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“We had one opportunity to do this right and we wanted to make sure we did.”

A new hall has been added onto the kindergarten building at TES. The hall houses six classrooms, complete with in-room bathrooms. Each room will have smart boards, a desktop computer and iPads for students.

“And there is certainly the possibility to get even more technology if the teachers feel it will help the students,” Hicks said.

In addition to the tech side of the program, the school system carefully considered special needs students and built one room with a handicapped accessible bathroom complete with shower.

Construction began on Jan. 16 and the project was funded by a $15 million dollar bond issue, which will also fund renovations and new construction on the middle school and high school campuses. The TES 4K project, coupled with an expansion on the other side of the school, totaled about $4 million, Hicks estimated.

So far, about 26 children are registered for the program with tuition paid and another 10, or so, parents have turned in applications, but have not completed the enrollment process.

Two teachers have been hired, but Hicks expects it necessary to hire a third sometime soon, and possibly a fourth mid-year.

Hicks said some folks in the community cautioned him not to expect the building to be complete by the beginning of the school year, but the construction crew is right on track.

“They worked 10 hour days and were always moving,” Hicks said. “Now it’s our job to get in here and get ready for the opening of school.”