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Learning Lessons at Brewer’s New School 

A new elementary and middle school is being built in Brewer. And while there are still a couple of years before its classrooms will be ready, some students showed up to the site Friday for their first lessons.”At every age group here, all the way from kindergarten to eighth grade, there’s something to be learned by all of them. And we’re going to be exploring that over the next two years,” says Karl Ward. Ward is the CEO of Nickerson & O’Day, the company building the school. He’s been working with local administrators and teachers to use the construction site as a learning tool for their students.First up, kindergarteners, who found lots to learn about shapes, colors and sounds.”Trapezoid!!” the students yell, picking out shapes on the building.”Triangle,” says one student.”There are squares in the windows,” says another.”When it’s finished this will be the largest Pre-K through 8th school in the entire state of Maine. It’s about 155-thousand square feet. We’re going to be expending well over a million man hours of labor involved in this project,” Ward says.Crews will be working through winter on the building, which is due to be completed in June of 2011. And they’ll keep welcoming visits from students, all the way up to the eighth graders.”For the sixth, seventh and eighth graders, I’m sure it’ll involve science and math, talking about scheduling, and how you coordinate something like this,” Ward says.The kindergarteners took photos to remember the day they were the first students at their new school. The next time they’ll be back, it will be as second graders.”Their eyes were wide open and I’m sure they’ll be carrying this with them for years to come,” Ward says.