A multi-million dollar school expansion project in Anderson is finally ready to open it's doors. The improvements are part of a $4 million bond package that was approved by voters in 2003.
It's back to school for Anderson-Shiro Secondary students. Even though the holidays have past, there was still something to look forward to.
The school opened it's brand new expansion wing with 15 new classrooms, a P.E. Gym, and more.
"You know, like Christmas, it's like opening a new present," said English Teacher Grace Stanford as she recalled seeing the faces of her students as they walked into their new classroom.
For the last few years, most students attended class in portable classrooms.
"We couldn't even concentrate when we tried to take tests and stuff because people would be walking like in the other portables beside you and you would be very distracted," said former student Stacey Wisnoski.
8th grader Ashleigh Sowell was ready for the move.
"It was a change but we got really used to it. All the teachers helped us and the faculty and staff, so it was really easy," said Sowell.
The expansion included moving 5th and 6th graders from the primary school to the secondary, where administrators believe the kids will gain a sense of responsibility.
"They're going to be expected to be at a certain place at a certain time and they'll have to do that on their own and not be prompted by someone else," said Interim Superintendent G.H. Childress.
Enrollment is reaching 400 students, and continues to grow. At the time, the new classrooms hold roughly 20 students, but if need be in the future, they can hold more.
"We have about 382 students total on this campus and we can probably get up to 500 or so," said Childress.
"It's just steadily growing and students are just constantly arriving," said Stanford.
Other improvements in the expansion project include a double tennis court, library, band hall, and a new track field.