The new Ormond Beach Middle School, dedicated Oct. 24, has six buildings, interactive whiteboards and a television production studio.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
It took five years to complete construction on the new Ormond Beach Middle School, but officials say the finished product, ceremoniously dedicated Oct. 24, has brought the 50-year-old facility into the 21st century.
The new school cost $47 million and was fully funded by the district's half-cent sales tax.
According to Principal Matt Krajewski, construction on campus grounds was completed while school was in session and, as recently as June, a two-story pile of dirt stood in what is now the school’s courtyard.
“(Workers) would section off an area, fence it off, build a building,” Krajewski explained. “As soon as the building was completed, they’d tear the other building down.”
But now the campus is clear of construction debris, and students have full access to six new buildings, a video production studio, classrooms with interactive whiteboards and other new features.
And while Krajewski admits that, at times, construction was a bit of a distraction to students, workers were always on guard, watching the gates to make sure that students didn’t cross into areas until it was safe.
Ormond Beach Middle's new classrooms are roughly 900 square feet and equipped with interactive whiteboards, which have projectors, allowing teachers to use them like a computer.
Classrooms also have audio-enhancement equipment, which Krajewski says help save teachers’ voices and make it easier for kids to hear lessons.
The school's current enrollment is roughly 1,080 students, but Krajewski said the new campus is capable of handling more. Without portables, the school is equipped to serve 1,200 kids, he said.
Another new feature at Ormond Middle is its television production studio, equipped with a camera, green screen, teleprompter and control room, where students put together the daily school news and announcements.
Although the main campus work is now completed, though — in all, there are two classroom buildings, the administrative/media lab building, a gym, a technology building, a cafeteria and an auditorium — one last phase of construction still remains, which Krajewski estimates will last through the end of November. Two new tennis courts and four new basketball courts are also on the way.