The Times West Virginian

Local News

May 16, 2014

‘Bright’ EFMS impresses students, faculty

‘Amazed at what people have done for us, just for us to learn and get good grades’

FAIRMONT — Finally, after three years of construction, students have stepped foot inside the new East Fairmont Middle School.

“Oh my gosh, it’s beautiful!” a student yelled to his friends as they ran down the hallway.

Seventh- and eighth-graders left East Fairmont Junior High School and came into the building for the first time Thursday, and they will stay there for classes until the last day of school on June 5.

“We got all the kids together; they cleaned out their lockers and we walked over here as a group to our new home,” said special education teacher Susan Schrader.

Teachers took the children on tours of the school and helped them move into their new lockers. Students marked their classrooms on a map of the facility to make sure everyone knew where to find everyone else.

“The teachers are just trying to get them familiar with the environment as quickly as they can,” said Christy Miller, East Fairmont Middle’s principal.

They also went through the lunch line in the new cafeteria and practiced several fire drills throughout the day to give everyone an understanding of their evacuation routes.

Students also explored the school throughout the day as they changed classes.

“I think it’s a really good change because the last school was really dirty, and it was really just not something we wanted to be in,” said seventh-grader Leah Snider. “The new school is really clean and better.”

Her favorite part of the school so far is the bathroom, she said, and many other girls agreed. It does have a full-length mirror, after all, and there are doors on all the bathroom stalls.

Aside from the bathrooms, students noticed how bright the facility is compared to the old East Fairmont Junior High.

“All the bright yellows!” said Megan Gibson. “And the band room. I love the band room.”

Nathan Gerau also noticed the bright colors throughout the building and liked the yellow lockers.

“And the elevator,” he said. “There’s an elevator. I don’t know if we’re allowed to use it, but there’s an elevator.”

Teachers were just as excited about the building as the students.

“I think it’s beautiful,” said Jessie Long, the librarian. “I’m blown away by it. I think it’s amazing.”

The new library has more space, she said, and the new computers and technology will allow them to be better equipped for 21st-century learning.

“It opens up a lot of opportunities for more material, which is nice. It’ll be exciting to have the fifth and sixth grade. I have a big order of fifth- and sixth-grade books coming in sometime around June, so hopefully I’ll be able to fill more of the shelves. They’re a little empty right now.”

Miller made lesson plans for the teachers so they could focus on moving their supplies and their kids into the classroom.

Social studies classes discussed the site’s historical aspects, and students wrote descriptions of the school during their reading/language arts classes.

They learned about energy conservation in science classes because the facility has several features that help control energy costs.

In math, students calculated the building’s square footage.

The children agreed they are happy to have a clean, new environment — a welcome change from East Fairmont Junior High, they said.

“That school was really run down, and people didn’t take really good care of it,” Kyra Miller said. “... We needed a new school.”

Snider believes the new facility will help students learn and focus better, she said.

“There’s new things here. It’s a different environment, so it gets your brain going more,” she said.

The fifth- and sixth-graders are coming to tour the building during the last week of school this year and will come full time next fall to join the seventh and eighth grades.

“Kids will actually be amazed at what people have done for us, just for us to learn and get good grades,” said seventh-grader Megan Gibson.

Email Chelsi Baker at or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.

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