About a dozen dads whose daughters will attend the new Solar Preparatory School for Girls this fall worked on a few projects around the school on Friday, Aug. 12.
One of the projects was repurposing an old chalkboard into a hanging Lego wall in what will be the school’s art room (formerly the library) on the second floor. Green Lego squares were being glued to the surface to create a vertical building surface.
Downstairs, and learning materials were being sorted to clear office space that was being painted Friday afternoon.
The school, which will open with grades kindergarten through second grade, will add to the core education of its students with an emphasis on STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. By adding an additional grade each school year, eventually it will serve students through the eighth grade.
The building itself, constructed in 1924 as James B. Bonham Elementary School, stopped being a school after the 2011-2012 school year. A dwindling student population meant the school wasn’t financial feasible to keep open as a comprehensive school. The district occupied Bonham by using it as office space until the Solar Prep concept was approved. Work began in earnest the past few months to convert the facility back to a school, not only returning it to its normal function but modifying the spaces for a more modern style of teaching.
Besides bright colors, new furniture is meant to move. Tables come apart like triangular-shaped pie pieces; fun stools can be positioned to suit educational needs.
In the meantime, most nooks and crannies are serving as storage as final preparations are made for classrooms, offices, the cafeteria and other spaces.
While fathers were hard at work on their projects, the school’s teachers were continuing to go through professional development with Assistant Principal Jennifer Turner. On Friday, each department was working on goals and mission statements to guide them through the first year. Teachers will have to wait until construction is done in their classrooms to finalize preparations there.