WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A $350 million bond referendum approved by Forsyth County voters is making a difference at three schools.
$47 million was used to build a brand new Paisley IB Magnet and Lowrance Middle campus. With the first day of school coming up on Monday, workers are busy moving desks, cleaning the floors and installing the last few items in the 320 seat auditorium that will be home to Paisley's arts program. At the same time, teachers are moving into their upgraded classrooms.
"I am very excited, very nervous," Maria Butner said. "I want to make sure I am using everything to help my students."
Butner is a teacher at Lowrance Middle, a school that educates students with special needs. Butner points out the many features that were missing from their old location like railings and larger hallways.
"This facility is made for our students," Butner said. "They are able to access the technology, access the media center, access the changing rooms, access the sinks without modifications."
Plus on the lower level, there is an apartment setup teachers can use to show special needs students how to live independently.
On the Paisley side of campus, there are common spaces where multiple classes can come together and work on projects.
The same common spaces and theme of collaborative teaching were incorporated into the plans of the $19 million Konnoak Elementary. The new building will have the latest technology and bigger classrooms. Rhonda Byerly is a teacher at Konnoak Elementary. She feels the larger space will help her students.
"It's just a world of difference where you couldn't move anything," Byerly said. "You didn't have space and the children were crowded because there was not enough floor space to work or build."
With plenty of room, Byerly can create multiple learning centers and make teaching fun and educational.
"We have this brand-new school," Byerly said. "I think the parents and children will be excited to come to Konnoak and say 'I go to this school.'"
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools open on Aug. 26.