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By KELLY RICHARDSON
HARDIN COUNTY — Although the principal and teachers aren’t working inside Heartland Elementary School yet, by Tuesday, the school will be filled with faculty, staff and hundreds of students.
The new building off Ring Road will be open and ready for students Aug. 5, the first day of school for the Hardin County district. But a few portions of the school likely will not be complete when Tuesday comes, including the gymnasium and a few classrooms.
The classrooms shouldn’t be missed initially, Principal Emily Campbell said. The completed classrooms will hold the current number of students enrolled, although there is the potential for some students to begin the year in a place that won’t be their permanent room.
Plans have been made to hold physical education classes in another part of the building until the gym is complete, which looks to be about the second week of school, Campbell said. But the finishing touches could advance more quickly, said Gary Milby, associate superintendent for finance and support services.
“It’s really hard to say exactly what will and won’t be ready,” Milby said.
Campbell and the Heartland teachers haven’t been able to prepare for the new year in the building, but she said that hasn’t been much of a hindrance. Teachers have been working from home and Campbell has been working from the HCS Central Office.
The teachers still need to get their rooms ready. Campbell said they hope to be in the building by Thursday.
Several community groups have helped the shelter-less faculty and staff. They held a faculty meeting at First Christian Church, conducted open enrollment at Severns Valley Baptist Church and will have their open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Pritchard Community Center. Students and parents will learn their classroom assignments and information about the cafeteria and bus routes, among other things.
Along with the teachers, Campbell said parents have been patent regarding construction.
“The parents have been absolutely wonderful,” she said.
Milby said the rushed feeling at the end is fairly common for all building projects.
“It’s pretty typical for everything to kind of come together at the last minute,” he said.
Once Campbell is set up in the building, her next goal is getting ready for opening day with the teachers Monday, where they can, in turn, prepare for Tuesday’s opening day.
“It’ll be hectic, but at the same time, it’ll be really exciting,” she said.
Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.