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Out with the old school, in with the new in Wells

Education Jackson Forderer · ·

1 Fathers Rob Passer, left, and John Meyer, right, say goodbye to their kindergarteners Ethan Passer, 6, and Madison Meyer, 5. 
2 A section of curtains hang in a kindergarten classroom in the old building. The elementary rooms in the new school are much bigger, according to teacher Cheryl Koestler. 
3 A color guard unit presented a new flag to be flown at the new United South Central building on the first day of classes. 
4 A plaque in front of the old flag pole was created for the Wells-Easton Public School before area districts combined to form the United South Central Public Schools. 
5 Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen gives a speech in a ceremony to mark the first day of classes in the new United South Central building. 
6 The old United South Central building in Wells now sits mainly empty. "Custodians are working super hard and teachers have worked hard to get the (new) building ready for students," said Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen. 
7 A marching band member watches a ceremony marking the first day of school in the new building. Preliminary numbers show an increase in the number of students enrolled at the school. 
8 A snare drum sits in the band room. There is still work left to be done on the new building, including acoustic improvements to this room. "The big picture was our main priority. Now we're trying to get the minor details worked out," said Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen. 
9 The auditorium at the new United South Central is filled with elementary students and teachers during an orientation. The school's price tag was $28.8 million. 
10 The auditorium at the old United South Central building in Wells also housed the school's first basketball court. 
11 German foreign exchange student Cedric Duerpisch, right, checks his cell phone in the high school hallway between classes. Teacher Cheryl Koestler said the new school has a better layout. "All the staff is a lot closer so you don't have to send e-mails, you can talk to people." 
12 A hallway stands empty in the old United South Central building. 
13 Students work in David Nelson's chemistry class study. Most classrooms are much larger in the new school. 
14 Classrooms, including the chemistry lab, at the old United South Central building lacked air conditioning. "We would have been suffering in that old building," said Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen. "It would've been hard to teach." 
15 Students play in the gymnasium at the new United South Central building. The gym is one of the most noticeable differences between the old school and new school. 
16 The gymnasium at the old United South Central building is almost bare. 
17 Fifth-grade students in Mrs. Light's class get a tour of the new library. "This is like heaven," said Becky Sorenson, media associate. The old library was a large class room that was converted into a library. 
18 The elementary library shelves in the old United South Central building are empty. The new school combines the elementary and high school libraries, but is still much larger than the two old ones combined. 
19 Students file into the commons area for lunch on the first day of school at the new building. "There is more space and more updated equipment," said Sue Dundas, a cook's helper. "It was worth the wait." 
20 The cafeteria at the old United South Central building is nearly empty.