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Published: Wednesday, 12/12/2012

Packing under way by teachers for Central Elementary

BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Central Elementary, at 7460 West Central Ave., will close next week, and students will move to a new building, Central Trail Elementary on Mitchaw Road after the holiday break. Central Elementary, at 7460 West Central Ave., will close next week, and students will move to a new building, Central Trail Elementary on Mitchaw Road after the holiday break.
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Packing up an entire school takes time, two semis, and multiple moving vans.

Staff members at Sylvania's Central Elementary School had a busy morning Tuesday as they started to pack up their classrooms, while the school had a late-start day. Students arrived in late morning, so teachers had time to put the contents of their classrooms into brown boxes.

Standing in a hallway full of boxes, principal Toni Gerber recalled her experience moving another school, in the 1980s, and said while that school had a smaller student population, moving Central can be accomplished successfully.

Upstairs, fourth-grade teacher Brenda Duffey joked that packing up her classroom was “a blast,” and that she has been packing items “here and there” for the past three weeks. “Time is a big factor,” Ms. Duffey said, adding she didn't want to be packing things up when students were still at their desks.

When asked whether students have asked many questions about the move, she said they have not. “Not really,” she said. “They don't say too much.”

The staff and students will move from the current building at 7460 West Central Ave. to the new school, named Central Trail Elementary, a few miles away at 4321 Mitchaw Rd., also in Sylvania Township. The last day in the current building is Dec. 21. The first day in the new one is Jan. 7.

When questioned about whether she is going to like the new school, Ms. Duffey's face lit up with excitement.

“It is stunning. And we are so fortunate, so blessed. We're very lucky,” she said.

Media center teacher Belinda “Benny” Conrad agreed that the new building would be great for the students.

“It's just so overwhelming. It's very, very exciting,” she said.

Tasked with packing up the school's library, Ms. Conrad established a system for packing up the multiple shelves of books.

“I like to do it myself. I make sure I pack them in an order,” she said, estimating that she will have to pack about 22 boxes per day to make the move possible over the school's winter break which starts Dec. 21. Students are still allowed to check out books from the center until then, and Ms. Conrad has been encouraging them to check out more, to keep them busy, when school is out of session.

But overall, all of the moving and the organization was done with purpose and intention. She said the opportunity in the new building will be great for the students.

“So exciting for them,” she said.

Parents and students will be invited to an open house at the new building from 1-3 p.m. Jan. 5. For more information, visit sylvaniaschools.org.

Contact Kelly McLendon at: kmclendon@theblade.com or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.



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