New Orange Elementary school opens for students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New Orange Elementary school opens for students

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

New school supplies, new teachers -- even a new building starts off this school year for students in south Waterloo.

Orange Elementary students going back to school Thursday have a brand-new facility. Everything from the desks to the computers have never been touched and await students and teachers.

Principal Teri Trask said it was time for a new facility, as the old Orange building was over 90 years old. The roof was even repossessed for health conditions, such as asbestos.

There is also a much-needed addition to the new school.

"I know back in the day no school was air conditioned, but in our time now, we were the only elementary that was not," Trask said. "So it was sweltering in the afternoons, and just not good conditions for learning."

The new Orange is now nearly double the square footage than the old building, covering 92,000 square feet as opposed to the old 48,750 square-foot plan.

The school said more room means more space for students and expanding its use of technology.

Teachers coming from the old building said the new school is a blessing, both for them and the students.

"I smile all day long," said fourth grade teacher Debbie Miller. "Walking down the halls, I just can't help but smile -- just the whole time I'm here."

Administrators and teachers said they are glad to keep the school in the same neighborhood to keep the "Orange family" together.

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