by Dan Fraser, Superintendent Belmond-Klemme
Schools are dedicated to providing the best possible accommodations for our students. To advance our aims, we have spent the last two years aggressively upgrading the appearance and quality of our facilities.
Some of it is very apparent. If you drive by our campus, you will first notice our beautiful, new elementary building. Richard O. Jacobson Elementary is a state of the art primary school, but even it has seen some upgrades. Additional playground equipment has been added, and the playground has a new colorful, modern surface.
Less apparent in Jacobson Elementary is its new intercom system. The building was constructed without an intercom. A new intercom was installed last winter to improve communication as well as safety and security within the building.
Between our two buildings are our ball fields. Quite noticeably, both have a new hard surface covering the spectator area. We aim to improve the quality of the fans’ experience at the games and facilitate access to people with mobility issues and handicaps.
The Belmond-Klemme High School is seeing the most change. The old building was constructed in 1962, and in many ways it had remained unchanged since then. During last summer, all our classrooms were remodeled with new carpeting, paint, and white marker boards. Several classrooms were outfitted with new furniture and new technologies as well.
This summer we are giving a major overhaul to our high school hallways. The original lockers are replaced. This was badly needed as many had become damaged and rusted over the last 57 years. The old 1962 orange tile is stripped from the walls. It has been replaced with tile in modern earth tones that will complement the lockers. Hallway lighting has been upgraded, and the original terrazzo floor is currently being resurfaced. Expect quite a change.
Some may question all this spending on our facilities. They may ask: “If the building served our students well in 1962, why does it need to be changed today?” Research shows that the appearance of school buildings makes a difference for students. Attractive and well maintained classrooms contribute to the happiness of our students. Students who are enjoying their education are more likely to earn higher grades, less likely to drop out, and more likely to finish school on time.
You can look to corporate America for a statement on this fact. Business and industry in the United States is driven by the bottom line of how much profit they earn. Yet some of the most attractive and lavish buildings are built for American business. The corporate leaders understand the relationship between quality facilities, happy workers, and profit.
The same principle naturally applies to schools. Belmond-Klemme is giving a whole new look to its facilities, and our students are responding positively to the changes. Please drop in this fall for one of our open houses or for a volleyball or basketball game. Come see what we have done with the place. We think you will be pleased and proud of your school.