ELLENBURG CORNERS — The 2012-13 academic year started off without a hitch at Northern Adirondack Central School despite the need for some unconventional classrooms.
Just a few weeks before school was scheduled to begin, the district was notified that construction to High School classrooms in the Middle/High School building would not be completed in time for the students’ return.
So construction crews, along with the district’s own maintenance crews, worked through Labor Day weekend to transform the building’s gymnasium into temporary learning spaces for the students.
“They are makeshift,” said NACS Superintendent Laura Marlow.
“But you know what? They’re doing the trick … and kids are learning.”
The classrooms, which are separated by temporary walls that don’t reach the ceiling, each have desks and computers, and teachers have even decorated the spaces with educational and inspirational materials.
“It’s amazing what you can do with a minimal amount of furniture and a minimal amount of material,” Marlow said.
“It’s quite impressive, actually.”
Global teacher Kevin Perkins has taken advantage of having a disposable classroom by writing, “You will defeat the regents” on one of the walls in black marker.
“It’s all about teaching, just in a different environment,” he said.
It does get noisy in the gym with several different lessons going on simultaneously, noted Stewart Chase, who teaches English, but “it’s working out fine.”
Students are making the best of the situation, as well.
”It’s not too bad,” said Mikailah Donah, a junior at the school. “The teachers kind of have a positive attitude.”
”Everybody can still learn,” said senior Colby Garrand.
”All the work is always done.”
In addition to the gym, some High School classes are also being held in rooms typically used by Middle School students until permanent settings for the older students can be completed.