More than two dozen elected officials, community business leaders and school district staff joined Teasley Principal Dr. Susan Zinkil and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo on Tuesday morning for a tour of the new $37 million, 239,750-square-foot school.
Zinkil, now in her fifth year as the principal at Teasley, thanked Petruzielo and the school board for making the new building a possibility.
“When I got here last week, I was totally overwhelmed,” Zinkil said.
The new building sits on 47 acres of land just north of the Riverstone Plaza shopping center in Canton, at 151 Hickory Log Drive.
With 1,400 computers in the school, there are more computers than students.
The school will welcome about 459 sixth-graders, 461 seventh-graders and 486 eighth-graders in the upcoming school year, but, with a capacity of 1,525 students, there’s some room to grow.
Teasley is equipped with more than a dozen science labs and five computer labs, as well as a media center, and Petruzielo said he was proud of the “state-of-the-art” facilities in Cherokee County schools and facilities.
Bobby Blount, assistant superintendent of accountability, technology and strategic planning, said the media center at Teasley had “mediascape environments,” which are areas specifically designed to encourage small group collaboration.
“People say ‘Wow, it looks like a coffee shop in here,’” Blount explained. “It’s very comfortable; it’s very inviting.”
When it came to the science lab rooms, Petruzielo noted the school district puts a “tremendous emphasis” on science and math, pointing out the middle school labs had a “high school setup.”
Teasley also features a technology lab with a 3D printer, and technology education teacher Scott Reece said students are taught how to make 3-dimensional designs.
“We’ve had some pretty cool things come out of here,” Reece said of the class, adding with the new building, the class got an upgraded 3D printer that allows for more moving parts to be printed.
Petruzielo said “if you can dream it, you can pretty much make it” with a 3D printer.
Blount added every classroom has an interactive digital white board, called a Smart Board.
“The dry erase board is gone; now it’s all digital and finger activated,” Blount said.
One thing unique to Teasley Middle School is that the building will house the Cherokee County School District Data Recovery Center, an air-conditioned room behind locked doors.
The room will provide the district with a backup network system, in case of a major disaster or power outage.
The community is invited today to take a self-guided tour of the new school’s model classrooms, gymnasium computer labs, media center and cafeteria, from 5 to 7 p.m.
On Aug. 1, Teasley will have an open house and walk-through from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., where students can test out their new lockers, tour the school and review their schedules. Administrators will host an information session at 4:30 p.m. and parents are asked to attend.
The old building on Knox Bridge Highway will be repurposed as the new home for ACE Academy, the district’s daytime alternative middle and high school program.
Teasley’s old campus is bigger than ACE Academy’s former school facility, so the program will be able to eliminate a wait list and accommodate all students who want to attend, officials said.
During the next year, the old ACE Academy building on Holly Springs Parkway will be renovated to become the new home of Tippens Education Center, a program that serves students with emotional and behavioral challenges.