Students, families and faculty rose early on a summer morning to help unload chairs and desks into the new, two-story middle school at Bradenton Christian on Wednesday.
Ginny VanTil is a newly retired first grade teacher from Bradenton Christian after 30 years.
“This is my school,” she said. “I thought, ‘Why not? I can help.’”
Windows in the classroom doors still needed to be installed and wrapping is still keeping the handrails in the stairwell, but the school is still set to open on the first day of the 2016-2017 school year. About 40 people came out with more on the way to set up 192 chairs and 168 desks for the nine classrooms in the new building. On Friday, the teacher’s desks will arrive.
Fourth-grader Chloe Elarton, 9, held the door open for the influx of boxes with her mother Laurie and seventh-grader brother Kenan, who said he’s excited to have classes in the new building.
“I’m glad that I can help out,” Chloe said, even though she would normally be sleeping.
Jennifer Calhoun, director of communications for Bradenton Christian, said some of the high schoolers are jealous of the building’s new features, like filtered water fountains and two science rooms with state-of-the-art equipment.
Brett Gerber, a 16-year-old Bradenton Christian student, said he likes the high school the way it is and with the middle schoolers in their new building, it’ll be nice to have more space.
“More room to breathe,” he said.