BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WDTV) - The construction beside Johnson Elementary School is creating a new parking lot in front of the football field and most importantly, a brand new elementary school.
Picture of what the new Johnson Elementary School will look like when it opens next year.
"We get to watch it go from the ground up and next year, we'll get to move the students and our supplies to the new school," said Johnson Elementary Principal, Vicki Huffman.
The parking lot is being completed as quickly as possible for the new school year, while the elementary school is expected to be ready this time next year, just in time for school to start.
Principal Huffman says that the upgrades were much-needed and include a gymnasium, 4 pre-school classrooms, a teacher's lounge and more bathrooms.
"This is going to be a great experience for all of us, so that we can expand," said Principal Huffman.
"We're excited for the new gym because our kids need and deserve to have that space for physical education," said Lesley Morgan, who has 2 kids currently at the elementary school.
Morgan, who has a child at a separate pre-school, says that the addition of pre-school classrooms in the new building will be a huge help to parents.
"It would have been a big help if all my kids could have come to the same location each day and it would have saved us a lot of money," Morgan said.
The new building will be state of the art with technology upgrades, a smarter building design, and even a garden area where kids can learn about growing food.
The staff at Johnson has found creative ways to incorporate the construction into their decorating and their lesson plans. The school even has a theme for the year: 'Under Construction'.
"We believe that the benefits of hard work pay off, so we're trying to incorporate that into the children's daily work," said one Johnson teacher, Janet Phillips.
"A lot of things are happening outside [at the site], but we like to use that to further their learning," Principal Huffman said.
School officials say this project will give students the tools they need to succeed both in, and out, of the classroom.
"Our students deserve the same quality of education as any student throughout this county," said Harrison County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Mark Manchin.
Despite some inconveniences, like a new traffic schedule caused by construction, students and parents remain excited about the project.
"If we all just work together and maybe leave a little earlier than we might want, I think it's going to be great and we just have to remember that this time next year, it's all going to be worth it," Morgan said.
The school is asking parents to please consider letting your kids ride the bus this year, or as often as possible, in order to decrease traffic delays caused by the construction.