LEHIGHTON, Pa. -- A brand new school officially opened up for elementary students in Carbon County on Tuesday. Students say this merger will bring kids from the Lehighton area together.
As we pulled up to the brand new Lehighton Area Elementary Center, you could smell the freshly paved blacktop. The meticulous details of the building, standing out thanks to the September sunlight.
The excitement was noticeable for the school's official debut.
"All of the staff, the students, the bus drivers, the principals, all of us are super excited that it finally came to fruition," said Intermediate Principal Dr. Marc McGalla. "The building is done, and the year is started."
School officials say the project was about two years in the making. The school is even eco-friendly and includes innovative learning spaces.
"We have a lot more technology. In this area here, we get to do group instruction, get a couple classes, and do readers theatre with the kids," said Diane Schnell, fifth grade teacher.
Students say they're obviously thrilled about going to school in a brand new building, but four area elementary schools are now combined into one, so this gives kids an opportunity to establish new relationships.
"A lot of my friends from other schools are in my class this year, and it's cool to see them," said fifth grader Blake Roberts.
"You can make new friends and see other friends you might not be able to see in school," added fifth grader Abby Steigerwalt.
"Another benefit is to provide better support for students if they have a specific need. If we have four different buildings and one person who has that expertise as a teacher, they have to get around to the different buildings and they spend a lot of time traveling rather than working with kids all the time," explained McGalla.
During this time of year, air conditioning is also a much-appreciated addition.