Principal of Elementary School Discusses Need for Renovations

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

WAYNESBORO, Va. -- School board members are looking at three schools, including Berkeley Glenn Elementary School, Waynesboro High Schools and Wenonah Elementary School, to receive about $20 million in renovations.

Sharon Tooley is the principal at Berkeley Glenn Elementary School, and she said the building needs upgrades, including protection against fire. There's no sprinkler system at the school.

“I feel fairly comfortable knowing I've got the fire department checking on our school to make sure we're safe,” said Tooley.

To keep safe, students practice drills.

“We've practiced that so much, that our children are excellent at that.”

Students also have to learn in classrooms shared with other classes. Sheila Freed is a teacher at the school who shares a classroom. She works with students who need help with reading.

“Sometimes it's a little bit difficult for some students to focus in that sort of environment. They really have to be good listeners and focus on what's being done,” said Freed.

Tooley is also concerned about security in the school. The building only has one video camera.

There's one main door that's unlocked on campus. Visitors are supposed to go check into the office. If they wanted to, they could come in through the second door and have full access to the school. That has parents and Tooley worried.

Despite the need for renovations, Tooley said she's thankful for a staff and students who have adapted to the nearly 50-year-old school.

“We have a great staff and great students. They've done a nice job with what they have,” said Tooley.

She hopes renovations will improve her school and students' learning environment.

“The students are safe, happy, and they're learning. We have a great, wonderful staff, and that's what makes a wonderful school. However, we do need these things to update our school and make it even better.”

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