COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — The Council Bluffs Community School District will be welcoming students back to classes on Monday, but on Wednesday students of Wilson Middle School were able to explore the newly renovated building.
For returning eighth-graders like Alan Arthur, the building is unrecognizable to when he left at the end of sixth grade.
“Other students are trying to figure out where they’re going based on the old Wilson, and they get lost. It's really fun," Arthur said.
It’s a project that is three years in the making, and something superintendent Dr. Vickie Murillo said the district is ready to put to good use.
“We are 99.9% ready for our students to return on Monday," Murillo said.
The renovations focus on creating a space where students and teachers can collaborate to learn in a more interactive way.
“We’re really looking forward to taking that formal kind of seats in straight rows in classrooms, and really moving toward that 21st century kind of feel of collaboration and working together," Murillo said.
Students say they like the extra space and the open communal areas outside their classrooms.
“It’s really nice," Arthur said. "It looks really nice. I think it will be great.”
As families and the district prepare to officially start school next week, the district is taking precautions against COVID-19 by enhancing cleaning, working to distance students, and will be monitoring local case numbers.
Masks will be an option, as Iowa law now prohibits mask mandates in schools.
“Our parents have a lot of choice," Murillo said. "Our parents can choose to have their students wear a mask and be a part of that if they’d like, and we’re really going to work around that together.”