It's still a little dusty with a lot of empty space on the inside, but that's really progress when it comes to a brand new elementary school building coming to life on the west side of Pauls Valley.
After three bond issue elections the reality is PV will soon have a new school to house youngsters from prekindergarten through the third grade.
It was in the spring of 2019 when actual work started on the construction of the new school building located on the south side of West Grant a short distance from the Indian Meridian Road intersection.
Since then the structure has taken shape as a recent walk through the building today shows there's still a lot of work to go on the inside, while the pouring of concrete for some school sidewalks outside looks to be the start of the parking lot area.
Even Superintendent Mike Martin is still getting used to the building as he can't help but show his excitement for a project that continues inching closer to the opening of a new local school.
“We want to show this community can have nice things like this new school,” Martin told the PV Democrat during a quick tour of the building's hallways.
“We'll have a building that's functional, low maintenance and safe. That's what has been hurting us with the old buildings – the high cost of maintenance.”
Before the current school year officially got underway Martin gave all the local teachers a tour of the unfinished school building.
The best part is they might be moving in sooner than later.
“I told the teachers to be ready to move into the new building sometime this school year,” he said.
“I'm hoping for it to be ready for the start of the second semester, but we'll have to wait and see. I would say the next month or so you'll start seeing furniture being moved in there.”
The building itself has three separate parts branching off with one wing just for third-graders, another for first and second grade students and yet another for prekindergarten and kindergarten youngsters.
There's also plenty of room to deal with the possibility of higher student numbers in the future.
“For every grade we have two additional classrooms,” Martin said. “That's for potential growth.”
Each grade will have six classrooms in the new building with four to be used at the start.
There will be a large playground area in the back divided with the younger kids on one side and the grade school students on the other.
Each separate classroom corridor can be blocked off when larger public functions are held after regular school hours.
The teachers themselves had some input into the design of the building, Martin said.
“We visited other schools and wrote down what we liked. We got a bus and a lot of teachers went over to see a school in Ada,” he said, adding it was an early childhood school.
“They came back with a lot of ideas and excitement about what they wanted for our school.”
In each of the Pre-K and kindergarten classes there are bathrooms, a sink and vanity helping teachers to keep things right there in the classroom all day long.
The superintendent also believes the school's gym, once opened up and ready for use, will also serve as the only public storm shelter in the PV community.
Then there's those concerns being expressed by some, specifically on how the school's parking and drop-off is going to work.
That includes Martin as his big concerns are squarely on how the traffic will flow from state Highway 19 onto the new school grounds.
“That's my concern out there – the traffic,” he said pointing toward the busy divided highway.
“I would prefer a stop light but it's not my decision.”
At some point Martin says he plans to put together an online presentation better informing parents how it's all going to work.