JOPLIN, MO.--- After more than a year and a half of construction, Joplin's Irving Elementary School is nearly ready for the first day of class. From brain friendly colors to a learning space showing off the entire solar system - the building is full of new ideas and options.
"It creates flexible spaces that were there anyway. It's just a creative use of those spaces so we can get more out of those spots," said Dr. C.J. Huff, Joplin Schools Superintendent.
On the south end of the building, there is a unique look of outer space. Farther north, stadium seating called "learning stairs."
"They're exterior, almost classroom like environments where students can sit on various platforms and almost stadium like seating. The teacher or a group of teachers, or an individual can get up and do a group presentation with students," said Dr. Huff.
The design pays special attention to the environment with stations for refilling water bottles alongside traditional water fountains, and the effort doesn't stop there.
"Kids wanted to see in their new schools a recycling center, so each neighborhood has a recycling center," said Dr. Huff.
18 months of construction work means there is very little work left to do. There is still some flooring left to install, but crews are already bringing in furniture. Outside, the campus needs some work on the landscaping and parking lot.
"We're trying to get a break in the weather to finish the parking lot so we can stripe it," said Mike Johnson, Joplin Shools Construction Manager.
The district will start opening the building to the public in December, with plans to host a series of events. East campus is also aiming to open in January.
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