A year after Newcastle ISD approved a bond to renovate the school, it's nearly 100 percent complete. Remodeled classrooms and a new gym floor are just some of the major renovations Newcastle underwent this summer. Last November voters approved a $4.5 million dollar bond because the school's foundation was falling apart, the roof was leaking and some classrooms had no electricity. It was a major feat but now a year later school officials are confident they made the right decision.
"Our foundation was cracking," said Superintendent Gordon Grubbs. "Just a disaster waiting to happen."
So school officials stepped in and through a multi-million dollar bond officials hired an architect and construction crew and work began this summer and now it looks like a new school.
Before the construction teachers were required to move out all of their belongings to make room for new floors, new carpet and new classrooms.
"When we emptied the classroom that was pretty emotional for me because I had been on the west end for 12 years," said elementary teacher Rita Choat.
Choat had been with the district since 1980, left and returned back years later and while she had a special attachment to her former classroom; her new, larger room makes up for it.
"I was excited because I had never, ever had a new classroom before," she said.
"The classrooms have at least a third more room," said Superintendent Grubbs.
Grubbs has overseen the project since day one from tearing out the old hallway floors to installing a new gym floor.
"We have motors that move the new bleachers in," he said.
And that's not everything; new plumbing was put in; the foyer was expanded; the auditorium received a new stage and a sound booth; and the outcome now fits the town's name quite well.
There is still some work to be done. Lockers still need to be put back in and sound for the auditorium should be coming in soon. Newcastle ISD hopes to have everything finished by mid-December.