The Greenville News

Posted Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 11:30 pm

Greenville, S.C.



Paris Elementary packs its bags for a big move



By Angelia Davis




There's a different kind of wrapping and unwrapping of packages going on this holiday season at Paris Elementary School.


The goodies inside most of the boxes and bags inside the school are items being moved into the school's new facility.


Paris Elementary staff began preparing to move into their new 80,000-square-foot building behind the current school last week. The school will open for classes Jan. 5.


Principal Sue Anne Link said the new building on Belvue Road will open the day after Christmas for the staff to start unpacking their items.


"We're all going to be having a very busy Christmas holiday, packing and unpacking," Link said.


However, Link, teachers, parents and students all say they're excited about moving into the new, two-story school designed for 600 students.


"It is a beautiful building," said Fran Mauney, a first-grade teacher and technology coordinator for Paris Elementary.


"The media center is fabulous. For the first time our students will have a large gym and a stage to perform on and utilize, and the best part of the move is all students will have equal access to the Internet."


Additionally, Mauney said students will have the capability to design a butterfly garden and build an outdoor wildlife habitat.


"We do a lot of outdoor learning, a lot of multi-sensory activity which you get from outdoor learning. That's going to be the perfect place for us," she said.


What will also be wonderful, Link said, is having space.


Link has been at Paris Elementary for 12 years and the school has always been overcrowded, she said.


"We've had to use space designed for one thing for additional things," she said.


The new building has ample storage room, a gym, a science lab, a music room and an art room. Even the school's PTA will have its own room in the new school.


Jane McKinney, PTA co-president, said the association's things are stored in probably four houses and any unused corner in the school.


"We always have carnivals and we make our own things," she said. "We have decorations we use for dinner, and we have nowhere to put that ever. Now we do. We have our own room and our own storage closet. We're thrilled."


The downside of the move, she said, is leaving the history inside the old building.


"I've seen people almost in tears, but they're so very happy, and so are the children because they can actually move around now," she said.