Opening Day for Redhawks!

New Erwin school is history in the making

By ROBERT JORDAN
Of the Record staff
Posted 4/19/22

Even though the administration, faculty and staff at Erwin Elementary School will be ready for school bells to ring on Tuesday morning, there are still issues that need to be addressed.

Most of …

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Opening Day for Redhawks!

New Erwin school is history in the making

Posted

Even though the administration, faculty and staff at Erwin Elementary School will be ready for school bells to ring on Tuesday morning, there are still issues that need to be addressed.

Most of these issues are cosmetic. Dr. Aaron Fleming proudly shared with The Daily Record that students in kindergarten through fifth grade will report for school on Denim Drive in Erwin in a safe and sound structure full of technological improvements designed to improve the students’ learning environment.

A site that for years housed the Erwin Redskins at Erwin High School, and later Erwin Elementary School, is now occupied by the Redhawks of the new Erwin Elementary School.

Dr. Stephen C. Murphy is the school principal.

“It is my complete honor to be able to serve as principal at Erwin Elementary School. Having the opportunity to serve the students, teachers, and community of the town that I reside in and love so much is a true blessing,” Murphy shared on the school’s website. “I look forward to building on the progress that our students and teachers have created so far this year. There are many great things that are happening at Erwin Elementary and I am thrilled to be part of such a wonderful learning environment. Go REDHAWKS!”

Fleming, Harnett County Schools Board of Education Chairman Eddie Jaggers and HCS’ Director of Schools Maintenance Steve Matthews ushered The Daily Record into nearly all areas of the new institution. In every section of the school, teachers and staff were hard at work putting the finishing touches on the facility.

From creating bulletin boards in the hallways and preparing fruit cups for Tuesday’s lunch meal in the cafeteria, to setting up the school media center (library), cleaning and polishing the floors and organizing classrooms, the entire facility was buzzing with activity Monday.

The deadline to have it all ready was at 5 p.m. for the 5:30 p.m. open house for parents and students.

Several areas of note in the new facility include:

  • The 476-seat auditorium which boasts lighting and media enhancements sure to make attending events in that room a pleasing experience for students and the public.
  • The gymnasium which is large enough to host sporting contests with bleachers constructed to specification for the K-5 student body.
  • A classroom devoted to dance completed with a wall length mirror and ballet barre.
  • The music room, complete with new instruments and other musical resources.
  • Every classroom in the school is equipped with a 75-inch high-definition smart television which replaces smart boards.
  • For security reasons, every room in the school is locked to those outside the room. Only those with authorized access will be able to enter rooms from the hallways.
  • The cafeteria, food service area and kitchen are all state of the art. Everything from food preparation to facility sanitation will be handled by efficient tools and resources.
  • Each area of classrooms have what is called a production room in the area. These rooms are STEM labs (science, technology, engineering and math) for teachers to utilize with their students.

Fleming and Jaggers explained that in the 2022-23 school year, student population at the school will be around 600. For the remainder of this school year, it will be a number lower than that. There will be some student reassignments over the summer to ease the pressure on some of the other elementary schools.

Several bus loads of students toured the new school on Monday. These tours were designed to assist students in becoming accustomed to their new routines which will begin on Tuesday. Students lining up to board the school buses and return to their current schools all seemed excited and eager to begin attendance at the new Erwin Elementary on Tuesday.

Supply delays are still creating frustration for construction and schools employees alike. As with any new building project there is a long list of warranty items which require attention.

The repair of these items is delayed by supply shortages and shipping difficulties. None of these problems are safety issues. Matthews feels confident those items will be corrected sooner than later.

For many grandparents and great-grandparents of Erwin Redhawks, the Erwin Redskins are watching the legacy continue.

Robert Jordan can be reached at rjordan@mydailyrecord.com or 910-230-2037.

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