School board, others get tour of new Carver Elementary School

Todd G. Higdon

Members of the Neosho Charitable Foundation Board, bond supporters and the Neosho R-5 School Board had the opportunity to tour the new George Washington Carver Elementary School on Tuesday and then go to Neosho High School to see the renovations taking place there.

Dr. Richard Page, superintendent of the Neosho R-5 School District, said the reason for the sneak peek was simple.

“Because of the effort and the specifics that you put in as a group to see this come around,” he said. “This could not have happened without your help. Without the land that the foundation donated to the school, it couldn’t be at this site and it would have cost the district a lot more money. Of course, the campaign committee had a lot to sell the issue and make sure that our community knew what it was and what we were wanting to do. And of course, the school board had to get that short-range and long-range plan into vision for the district. So for all of that, you three groups that are so instrumental in seeing this take place, I felt like you needed to be one of the first to see this building (new elementary school) before anyone else could.”

Next week, Carver teachers will come into the new school.

“But in a week’s time, you will be amazed at what the finishing touches will look like,” Page added. “Even though they might still be doing work on the outside, most of the inside will be done. Teachers are going to start bringing in their supplies over.”

On Dec. 19, students will officially tour their new classrooms, with furniture and equipment to be moved in. Separated into three groups – with Page, Shawn Dilday, the district’s maintenance director, and Satotha Burr, Carver’s new principal, as guides — those attending were given tours of the school. Each group had the opportunity to see all the classrooms, the front office, the library, the cafeteria, the nurse’s office, the music room, the art room and even the multi-purpose room.

Neosho Wal-Mart Supercenter Store Manager Chuck Cornelison’s wife, Mary Ann, the new school’s nurse, was one of the sneak peak guests.

“I think that it is exciting,” Cornelison said. “Mary was able to come out here to check on the progress. She is excited and I will have one, possibly two sons which will come out here to the new school.” Another eager tour recipient was Mark Preston, who works at the Neosho High School. “I think that this (new Carver school) is wonderful,” Preston said. “This is going to be quite an asset to the school district.”

Asked what was something that stuck out in Preston’s mind about the new school, he said, “The outside doors for the kindergarten rooms is also I think pretty critical and cool for dropping off students. They are going to have their own parking area.”

Once the tour was complete, guests had the opportunity to go to the high school to see the renovations of the science labs, the new north entrance and the auditorium. Lynn Otey, a retired teacher with the school district, enjoyed touring the high school.

“It is wonderful,” she said.

Longtime businessman Fred Clark, owner of Clark Funeral Home, was also amazed at the school.

“I think that it is a long time coming,” he said.

Neosho Daily News