A new Berry: Middle school moves into new home at Spain Park

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

This year, the Berry family moved into a beautiful, brand-new home surrounded by lush trees and pristine landscaping.

Located directly behind Spain Park, the new Berry Middle School is a dream come true for many Hoover City school students. Seventh grader Holly Howell said, &8220;I think that we just needed something that would bring our school closer to Spain Park. As we feel closer to them we feel more like a family. They can come to our games and we can basically just walk over to Spain Park if we need to.&8221;

Cheryl Thomas, language arts teacher and school newspaper advisor agreed, saying Berry students have already taken advantage and attended choir concerts and seen dance performances at the high school.

Currently, the two schools also share the football field for athletic events such as football, while Berry waits for their field and stadium to be finished.

According to Howell, the new close proximity of schools and shared use of facilities will also make the transition from eighth grade to ninth grade at Spain Park much less intimidating.

Another benefit for Berry Middle School being close to Spain Park is a shorter drive time for parents and buses. Howell said, &8220;Some people were having to drive so long from places from like Greystone, or where I live, over to the old Berry. Everyone is so excited now. Some houses are right across the street or within walking distance.&8221;

Berry Middle School&8217;s zoning rearranged at the beginning of 2005, so Howell and other sixth graders are able to stay together for the whole of middle school.

As for students who left before coming to the new school, Thomas said, &8220;All the school are so nice in Hoover you don&8217;t feel like you got the short end of the stick.&8221;

Though the new building didn&8217;t add any volume to students or faculty, Vice Principal Carol Propinski said, &8220;We had everything we needed before, but this building&8217;s much brighter and open. There&8217;s just a feeling of brightness.&8221;

Other new additions include lots of extra shelving to fill with library books, slushy machines and two indoor gyms for separated guys and girls P.E. classes.

&8220;Some people aren&8217;t too happy about it,&8221; Howell confessed, &8220;But [teachers] are able to gear it more towards what the girls are interested in and the boys are interested in, so we don&8217;t have to do the same thing and get plowed over.&8221;