Renovated Ellsworth Middle School Opens 

A $35 million project in Ellsworth opened today to students.Renovation work at Ellsworth Middle School finished just in time for the start of the new school year. And educators hope the new space will mean better learning. “Do you have something you’re going to put homework in?”Sixth grade teacher Janet Higgins likes to start off the school year the same way.But this year she’s doing it in a completely renovated building, one with middle schoolers in mind.”Our sixth graders couldn’t reach the tops of their lockers and the lockers were really dingy, things seemed really dark. Even the hallways seemed old and dark. It was a school that ready for a really big face lift.”And it got it. Assistant Superintendent Katrina Kane says it’s taken about a year to gut Ellsworth Middle School and remodel it for the fourth through eighth grade classes.”The technology is updated, the teaching and learning spaces are better designed, the lighting is fabulous. It’s just a beautiful place to learn and go to school.”Eighth grader Nate Stephenson says it’s quite a surprise for the first day of class.”The hallway doesn’t slant downhill anymore. It’s all painted and there’s big glass windows and it’s very different.”Becky Anderson already knows the new space will make a big difference in the classroom. “I can do things I think better, more efficiently and have kids in one corner doing something and in another corner doing something else.”Eighth grader Aleta Looker agrees.”We’ll be a lot more organized with lockers, so we’ll all have our own space and time to organize and stuff like that. So it will probably help a lot more, if everyone keeps it clean and everything.”Work on an addition to the school won’t be finished until next year, but teachers and students say this part of the building is already making the grade.