Radcliff Elementary shows off renovation

Opening today RES is the new home of the former Parkway Elementary School

Photo by Jill Pickett
Connie Owens, teacher of a first-second grade split class, talks about being in the new Radcliff Elementary School, which is the renovated Radcliff Middle School, on Tuesday afternoon before the school's open house.

The News Enterprise
August 3, 2010

Just months ago, Radcliff Elementary School was a middle school that housed sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. Now two moves and a renovation later, the elementary school is in place and was welcomed home with a bouquet from the building's former inhabitants.

Radcliff Elementary School opened this morning, becoming the new home of the former Parkway Elementary School. The new elementary school is housed in the building where Radcliff Middle School was once located, situated on Dixie Boulevard.

Principal Joan Cooke saw the newly-renovated building just a few weeks ago, and teachers have had only four days to begin getting their rooms ready for an open house, which was Tuesday night.

While the outside of Radcliff Elementary looks mostly unchanged from the Radcliff Middle fašade, the inside is nearly unrecognizable from its previous interior.

"It's a completely different place," Cooke said.

One of the most enjoyable events during the renovation process was taking staff members to see the building for the first time, Cooke said.

"There aren't even words to describe it," she said.

Connie Owens, a first and second grade teacher at the school, said she spent about 14 hours Friday getting her room ready for today.

"We've been frantically trying to get everything ready to go," she said, laughing.

But despite the rush, Owens is excited about the school's new home.

"I love it," she said. "It's so nice, it's so nice to have space," she said, speaking of the large rooms and built-in cabinets and cubbies.

Jessica Dame, a new fifth grade teacher, didn't work at Parkway but still appreciates the amenities at Radcliff Elementary, such as a water fountain in her classroom.

"There's just a lot of features that have been thought-through for an elementary school that you don't see in others," Dame said.

Radcliff Middle School was vacated in January after the middle school staff and students moved to the newly-constructed North Middle School. With new families moving into the area from the BRAC transition, Hardin County Schools decided to make use of the empty space by renovating it and moving the first through fifth grades of Parkway into the space, becoming Radcliff Elementary.

The empty Parkway building became North Park Elementary School, a preschool and kindergarten center for the north end of the county. This frees up space at Woodland, Vine Grove, Meadow View and Radcliff elementaries for new students.

There will be a second phase to Radcliff Elementary's renovation, which will complete the cafeteria, library, gym and exterior.

Kelly R. Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747.

This story, written by Kelly R. Cantrall, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The News Enterprise. Read more stories from The News Enterprise at www.thenewsenterprise.com.