SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - Sixteen pennies will get San Augustine Intermediate students out of a run-down, makeshift science lab and into a new school with three science labs.
"It makes me really happy that they would really care about us, that we need a place to learn," said fourth grader Hannah Garcia.
San Augustine voters approved a multi-million dollar school bond, raising taxes 16 cents to improve the entire district.
"In today's financial times that was a huge commitment from them to us," said San Augustine ISD Superintendent Walter Key.
The old intermediate school will become the new administration offices and a new middle school will go up across town.
The middle school will be built near the high school. Plans are still being drawn up for the facility.
Every campus will get at least a million dollars worth of renovations.
"The most exciting thing and I hate to tell you, it's not about the campus," said Key. "It's about the voters believed in us and our kids."
The front of the intermediate campus was renovated not too long ago, but the back part of campus has been used since before desegregation.
"I went to this junior high when I was in junior high and now I've been teaching there for 23 years," said Leasa Dunn, a science teacher at the intermediate school. "I'm probably one of the most excited persons on campus. It's directly affected me and I've grown up with this school. I've always dreamed of a new facility and just never thought that it would happen."
"You only learn as much as your environment lets you," said sixth grader I'tuiria Garrett.
The sixth graders will be the first to graduate from the new building.
"When we get there, we can set the standards for most of the younger kids," said sixth grader Marchristopher Jenkins.
"It's going to show San Augustine that they didn't make a mistake in voting on a new school for us," said sixth grader Estephania Castillo.
"It makes me feel proud," fourth grader Mark Hudgins said.
Around 170 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will move into the new middle school in fall 2012.