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Stone Creek students come home

Nicole Frey
NWS Stone Creek1 KH 10-30-06
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AVON – Just one day after starting class in the new Stone Creek Elementary school building, the children had already covered the asphalt driveway with chalk drawings. Large suns and pink butterflies smiled out from the blackness. Hopscotch blocks were numbered and bases for a game of kickball were sketched out. “We’re taking donations for playground equipment, but for right now we’re teaching the kids some old-fashioned schoolyard games,” Stone Creek Principal Betsy Hill said. Inside the wide, double doors of the school, the smell of fresh paint and newly-installed carpet filled the air. Decorations started to creep into the hallways as the students and teachers embark on making the building their own. Outside Miss Tara’s kindergarten classroom, tall paper flowers represented the height of each little kindergartener. As the children grow, so will the flowers. “We’re here. We’re all together,” Hill said. “We’re experiencing that feeling of community.”

Initially planning to occupy the building in early September, construction at the end of Yoder Avenue, next to The Home Depot in Avon, was delayed time and time again.

“There were little inspection things that kept haunting us,” said Arch Wright, a Stone Creek parent who helped facilitate the school’s construction. Stone Creek’s administration waded through issues with the plumbing and sprinkler system, as students and teachers took up temporary residence in hotels, churches and other schools. Seven-year-old Haley Frischholz concentrated trying to remember all the classrooms she’s had in the last month. “We were at a hotel in Beaver Creek, and then we went to the Seasons and then to Riverwalk,” she said. “And we were at the (Colorado Mountain) college. One time we were upstairs there, and then we were downstairs. Every week, we had to move and carry all our stuff.”While the kids were initially excited to be housed in a hotel, the novelty wore off, Hill said. “The third graders did tell me they miss the comfy chairs and the ice water on the tables,” Hill said.

The students, ranging from kindergartners to eighth graders, were overwhelmingly happy to have a permanent home. “We don’t have to share a classroom anymore,” Haley said. “And we have our own desks.”Seven-year-olds Alexis Randel and Chas Struble said all the moving was cumbersome and dull. “We couldn’t go anywhere,” Chas said. “It’s good to be here because all the art teachers and music teachers, they all have their own classrooms.”Lynne Perry was had previously to traverse the valley to teach art, but now the students come to her. “It’s awesome to have everybody come together,” Perry said. “The kids were fine and happy, but they didn’t have that interaction.”A work in progress “I love the new building,” Windham Miller, 9, said. “It’s not too big, but it’s just right for us.”

“When we were at the hotel, we had a park nearby,” Windham said. “Now we have to play in a parking lot.” But school officials plan to remedy that soon. They’ve got the land for a park, they just need to equipment. “It’ll come together real quick now that we’re in the building,” said Bill Hammer, president of the Stone Creek School Board. With a building in place, Stone Creek is welcoming more Hispanic children, who started school elsewhere. “The Hispanic community needs something,” Hammer said. “They need a building to relate to.”Together at last, the school will soon host its first assembly and pick the school mascot. Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or nfrey@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado


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