New school opens in Horsham

HORSHAM, Pa. (WPVI) -- It was just like the first day of school for students and staff of Hallowell Elementary in Horsham, Montgomery County.

"I was like oh my gosh," said first grader Avery Hornby after seeing the new school.

Rave reviews came from Mrs. Yerk's first grade class.

Three hundred and eleven pre-kindergarten through 5th graders joined their parents, walking from their old school building to their new one next door, where they will finish their school year.

Avery said, "I saw my classroom and I was like whoa I can look out the window,"

Aiden Hafer, another first grader said, "I was kind of sad to leave my old school, but really happy to see the new one."

The 33 million dollar building replaces the old one, built in 1961. The design phase began in 2013.

Administrators toured other schools and got input from staff and their own students.

School principal Steve Glaize said, "We have various spaces that maybe you won't see in a regular elementary school like a fitness area for example for children or a large group instruction area where you can have 100 students convene at one time."

In the days leading up to this, the children got a tour of the building and many of the parents took a look around today and they told Action News, they're very excited for the new opportunities the building allows.
Corinne Hornby, parent said, "It's hard to upgrade a school that's so old."

Donna Yerk, 30 year teacher said, "Just loving the new building. The newness of it. Even technology that's going to come to the school and what we will be able to use."

From music classrooms to the media room, the gymnasium to the cafeteria, parents and students ooh and ahhed at building, which is also more energy efficient.

"Our current building the one that we are in right now is four times the size of the building we left. It's fully air conditioned. The other building wasn't air conditioned at all. And it's 40 percent less energy use per year than the old building," said Glaize.

The new school was built for 600 students, eventually doubling the student body. That will come in phases. But for now, students are happily adjusting.

"I really like it and now I maybe can get used to it like my last classroom," added Aiden.
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