GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Public Schools trustees and High School House students got an on-site look at the new Longfellow Elementary School on Friday.
Located at 1100 6th Avenue South, the new school will feature unique additions like the district’s first rubber safety surfacing that can mitigate safety risks and increase accessibility for handicapped students.
Other features include American Indian cultural elements, a Learning Resource Center, a media center that includes both a library and computer lab, and a gymnasium.
The facility has been a work in progress since last year, when Great Falls Public Schools received a $99 million dollar bond for reconstructive purposes.
Assistant Superintendent Ruth Uecker said rebuilding was the best solution to addressing structural concerns.
“It was at the point where we decided we needed to tear down, rebuild, and start fresh using modern technology, modern engineering to build a building on this site,” Uecker said.
After hearing from GFPS officials at the event, students from both Great Falls High School and C.M. Russel High School toured the facility.
This sneak-peak event allowed High School House students the opportunity to learn the ins-and-outs of a career in construction.
Great Falls High School senior, Declan Okes, has considered pursuing a career in the construction field since childhood.
"I’ve actually kind of had an interest in construction since I was younger. High school House, I’ve actually had thoughts about as early as freshman year and I ended up taking it this year,” Okes said.
Okes said this opportunity gave him insight into the job.
“A facility this size it takes a lot of teamwork I imagine and a lot of precision. And just making sure everything's done right for a great result,” Okes said.
While CMR Senior William Harr doesn’t plan to pursue a career in construction, he said an opportunity to see real-life construction workers gives him more respect for the field and the people within it.
“Just looking around and seeing that someone had to put that there, someone had to build that. Buildings don’t just go up. There’s a lot of people involved, a lot of hard work, and a nice finished project in the end,” Harr said.
December 17, 2019: Longfellow Elementary School gets several big donations
December 20, 2015: Longfellow Elementary School begins move to Roosevelt building