PHOTO: WCS Superintendent Jason Golden speaks to the crowd at Scales Elementary School as Board of Education Chair Gary Anderson and the school’s principal, Melonye Lowe, listen. Photos by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
With the completion of the new addition to Scales Elementary School in Brentwood, faculty and students are going to enjoy more breathing space and elbow room.
And Principal Melonye Lowe is going to have one heck of a view.
Her new corner office affords her the opportunity to look outside her window at the hillside of trees across Murray Lane, quite the aesthetic improvement over her previous office with no window.
“This is just absolutely beautiful,” Lowe said as she pointed toward the canopy of green across the roadway. “And I’m really looking forward to the fall so I can see the colors change on those trees. It’s a nice perk.”
Lowe, in her fourth year as Scales principal and 26th in Williamson County Schools, was joined by other school and WCS staff and county officials to celebrate the opening of the new addition with a ribbon cutting and a few speeches. The front of the building does indeed offer a nice gaze upon the hillside, but there’s quite a view on the inside as well.
“We’ve made it brighter, we’ve made it more open, and we’ve made it more available to students,” WCS Superintendent Jason Golden told the crowd who came for the ribbon cutting Thursday morning. “And we believe it’s going to be, for faculty and students, something to be proud of as you spend your time here.”
Scales was built in 1977 for around 620 students, and Lowe said enrollment is now 825 students.
“We had four classes in portables, so we added 10 new classrooms and got rid of those portables that had been in the yard for a while,” she said. “We also had a cafeteria expansion. We were over capacity and we needed cafeteria space for students. Also, our library was woefully small, so we have a new library common area.”
Now known as the learning commons area, the former library will still have books and traditional research materials, Lowe said.
“But we’re going to be combining literacy and STEM,” she said, “so that it’s a more integrated approach and our students can be not only creative but can learn some new research and presentation skills.”
As one of the district’s oldest schools, Scales — which was named a National Blue Ribbon School last year — has been through three renovations and has had minor expansion projects. But this is its largest expansion.
“There have been lots of changes,” said Sandy Webster, who has been the school’s bookkeeper since the school first opened 42 years ago. “You know, people have changed, the facility has changed, but the heart of the school has never changed.”