Students start class at the brand new St. John's Catholic SchoolWahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) - The first day back in the classroom at a Wahpeton Catholic school is much more than just another start to an academic year: It's a new era. Students and teachers walked into their new 3.2 million dollar school. It's a new beginning, almost a century in the making.
Sharon Terfehr has been at St. John's Catholic School for more than 20 years, but today is different. Her 5th graders are walking into a brand new building.
TEACHER: "Everything's new; it smells new, kids are excited."
The paint is hardly dry for these preschool through 6th graders. The new digs are a long time coming. Students in this school had been in the same building since 1928.
PRINCIPAL: "Our teachers never had a break room to go to before. We didn't have a work room, we just had different tools and things that different teachers needed kind of scattered throughout the building."
TEACHER: "It's cleaner just because of the newness. It's quieter even because of flooring; don't have the old wood floors that echo."
There are major changes from the old place across the street and endless electronic possibilities.
SARA: "Now we get brand new full size locker. We don't have to share them or switch them like every month."
JORDAN: "I like the windows a lot! In the old school, you couldn't really see out of them at all."
TEACHER: "Everything's wired for SmartBoards and so we'd be ready for that."
Thanks to fundraising from the diocese, donations and pledges, a new chapter in this school's book.
PRINCIPAL: "We're still a Catholic school; we still find Christ the center of this school as we did at the other school. So none of that's changed, but we're all just a little perkier and a little more excited to walk through the halls."
It is a change that educators and learners have been waiting for patiently. They did save something from the old place. The playground equipment is from the old school.