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New Science building under construction at Grier School

In the last couple of years, Grier School has made some changes to its campus facilities to become more modern and attractive to its students and staff. The art building is the newest addition, and now a new science building is under construction.
This past summer, the staff of Grier School met to plan the science building and the layout of the classrooms. Construction began in the fall of 2002.
“It’s a single-story building,” said James Pingry, head of the science department at Grier, “housing an earth and physical science classroom, a chemistry and physics classroom, a biology classroom, and a smaller classroom probably primarily for teaching health. Also there will be a store room for our chemicals and supplies and an office area for the teachers in the building.”
The new building will be furnished with lab stations with sinks and gas. Two fume hoods will enable the department to perform a wider variety of lab exercises dealing with chemicals.
“Right now we’re working in rooms designed 30 years ago, and our classes are going to be really designed for science,” added Pingry. “Some of the other classes were just general rectangular rooms. The only real science room we had was the chem/physics classroom. The other two classrooms we just tried to adapt by putting in shelves, cabinets, sinks and stuff like that.”
Currently, the teachers are working out of the old classrooms, and they have to share the spaces. Also, they have to move their materials from one area to another. The new building is specifically designed for teaching science, so it will eliminate these problems.
The construction is being contracted by McCloskey’s out of Hollidaysburg. Pingry said the crew is great and they work in all types of bad weather conditions to keep on schedule of the building project.
“The target date to be finished is sometime in May,” said Pingry.
After the building is completed, all the science materials will be moved in for the new school year in September.
“We have a good science program. We do all the core curriculum classes,” said Pingry. “We have smaller classes and have the ability to work more closely with our students. We also have a fairly large learning skills program where kids are at Grier because they have learning disabilities, and we accommodate those kids with smaller classes because we can give them the attention they need.”
Also, Pingry feels the science program will benefit from the new facility because of the new technology that will be put into place. Computer-projection screens will be in some classrooms to view images from the Internet on a large screen to the whole class. TV/DVD players will be equipped in every class. Also, all the science equipment will be new.
“In all senses I think it’s going to be a tremendous difference, and we’re all just really excited to have something like this,” said Pingry. “It’s going to add one more dynamic to Grier.”