By MAX FILBY
A year after they opened, Glenwood and Donnell middle schools in Findlay are starting to feel “like home.”
The two new structures opened a year ago this month and have become a place where students, teachers and staff feel comfortable going every day, said David Alvarado, Glenwood principal.
“It’s nice. It’s just starting to feel like home,” Alvarado said.
Built mostly out of brick, Glenwood sits at 1715 N. Main St. while Donnell is at 301 Baldwin Ave.
“There’s nothing bad about walking into a new building every morning,” said Don Williams, Donnell principal.
Both principals said they haven’t gotten any negative feedback from students, teachers or staff on the new schools since they opened.
A year in, neither school has had major problems, other than a sprinkler malfunction in Glenwood’s library and a cat getting stuck in a downspout at Donnell.
The cat, “Piper,” was freed by school officials and the Hancock County dog warden. The 993 books the sprinkler destroyed will mostly be replaced by insurance, Alvarado said.
“That was a little bit of a bummer, but we’ve got it mostly figured out now,” Alvarado said.
The main thing people had to adapt to was a change in the number of students and staff at each school, Alvarado and Williams said. Findlay used to have three middle schools, but with the demolition of the former Central Middle School, the district now has two.
“It was a little bit of a challenge at first, but we got used to it,” Williams said.
The transition from three middle schools to two was years in the making.
Construction of the new middle schools began in spring 2011 after voters approved a 4.3-mill bond issue in 2009 to help pay for the nearly $57 million project, which also included construction of Millstream Career Center.
Each new building brought along parts of their predecessors, such as statues at Glenwood and the main entrance at Donnell.
Moving from one school to another, halfway through an academic year, was the difficult part of the transition. The move took place as soon as the new buildings were ready, both principals said.
Today, “It’s nice knowing what you’re going back to every week now,” Alvarado said. “It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a whole year.”
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