After several decades, Alto has a new school - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

After several decades, Alto has a new school

By Holley Nees - bio | email

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - After almost 60 years, Alto ISD has a new school.   There was a $6.3 million bond election a few years ago, and now a brand new elementary school has been built, a gymnasium renovated, and a new parking lot installed all in time for the new school year.

"It's a new beginning, you know, every school year is a new beginning, but when you're coming to a new building you get a new start and who doesn't appreciate a new, fresh start to something," said 3rd and 4th grade teacher Renee Birdwell.

This is Birdwell's first year teaching at Alto and she's thrilled with the 46,000 sqare foot building.

"Just like Christmas, you know," Birdwell said.  "So, I hope that they'll bring that excitement into all parts of their education."

"Everything is brand new and as Mrs. Birdwell said, we're kind of like little kids on Christmas morning," Alto ISD Superintendent Dr. Ray DeSpain said.  "We're just very, very excited."

With 24 classrooms, a computer lab, a reading lab, and a nursing office with new furniture, not to mention a new playground, the multi-million dollar facility is well appreciated.

"The only complaint that I've had is the teachers say it sure takes a long time to walk from point A to point B," said DeSpain.

"We've noticed how large the building is outside it doesn't look that large," said 4th grade language arts teacher Donna Seymore.

They even have a built-in color system according to grade so the kids won't get lost. It's a building that DeSpain hopes will help them grow academically.

"We're very excited about the way this has turned out and we're ready for 375 kids to show up," said DeSpain.

Friday afternoon, a few students were already on campus checking out their new school.

"We give them all that we can give them, we're expecting things in return that are great things," DeSpain said.

He said the new school for growing Yellow Jackets was all possible because taxpayers were willing to foot the bill.

"Thank you is not enough...they are the ones that have funded this," DeSpain said.  "They did it for their own kids, for their own grandchildren and in the education business we think that educating kids is the very first positive step in life."

DeSpain said they will dedicate the building August 24th and the kids will get to put their hands in the concrete.

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