By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dibrell expansion provides needed space
Placeholder Image

If the walls could talk at Dibrell Elementary they would say, “My, what a nice new school we have.”
It’s been just over two months since Dibrell students have moved into a new wing at the school and started using the new cafeteria and gym. The addition became fully operational after Christmas break, according to instructional coordinator Joe Bost.
“It’s really working well for us,” said Bost. “I don’t think a lot of people were aware of how many teachers we had doubled up in classrooms or using a closet. Another area where we’ve really benefited is with loading and unloading cars. Now we have two separate areas for buses and parents and that’s really helped. They built that extra lane on the highway because of how congested it would get in here, but we really don’t have that problem now.”
A two-story, 16-classroom wing was added to the existing school to house grades 5-8. The first floor includes grade 7-8, while the second floor has grades 5-6.
“It allows us to separate the older and younger kids,” said Bost. “The pre-K through fourth grade classrooms stayed in the old building and we moved the older students to the new wing. We kept the seventh- and eighth-graders on the first floor because it allows us to keep an eye on them. They are the ones you have to watch.”
The much larger cafeteria includes a wall of windows that allows the room to be lit much of the time with available light. The cafeteria the school had been using was so small, it required lunch to start at 10 a.m. so all the students could eat.
The new gym is also spacious and much brighter than the Wildcats’ old lair. Wider hallways and an expansive library are two other notable features.
“Everybody seems to love it, although some of the teachers who had to stay in the old section are a little bit jealous,” said Bost. “They are still having to look at their same classrooms and the same old paint. But at least now they have more room down there.”
The addition was expected to be complete for the beginning of the school year, although construction delays pushed back the move-in date by a semester. Other than the overall delay, there have been few problems reported and those have been confined to the kitchen.
One problem that is scheduled to be fixed over spring break is the kitchen floor is flat and not sloped toward the drains. This allows for standing water.
Another problem is the floor inside a walk-in freezer is freezing which makes footing slippery.
The county paid $7.25 million for the addition.