Chelsea Park Elementary opens doors

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Chelsea Elementary students will continue their education in a different location tomorrow morning.

When the school returns back in full force, students will hang their backpacks at Chelsea Park Elementary located near the Chelsea Park subdivision off U.S. 280.

About 700 students will make the transition to the new school.

Chelsea Park Elementary cost $12 million and will educate kindergarten through third grade.

The previous location will become the Chelsea Intermediate School for fourth and fifth graders on Jan. 4 under principal Stephanie Herring.

Jeanette Campisi-Snider will be the new principal of Chelsea Park Elementary.

Campisi-Snider is new to Shelby County and said she appreciates the patience and is ready for school to begin on Jan. 4. &8220;The children of Chelsea will continue to be taken care of,&8221; said Campisi-Snider.

Lynn Cook, the previous principal of Chelsea Elementary for the past three years, said the teachers have been working hard to make this a smooth transition. Teachers, at both schools, were set up on a special contract to prepare over the holidays.

&8220;This is a beautiful facility,&8221; said Cook. &8220;Chelsea is such a growing community, I&8217;m sure new students will enroll and now we will have the room.&8221;

The goal during construction was to have enough classroom space for 850 students. The new building is approximately 100,000 square feet and took 14 months to complete.

&8220;We were extremely over-crowded, with almost 1,000 students and 18 portables. The new location will not have any portables,&8221; said Campisi-Snider.

An eight-room addition for the third grade will be completed by the end of spring.

Cindy Warner, public relations and education supervisor for Shelby County Schools, said the move would have been ideal if they had the summer to prepare. But when construction began in August 2005 they knew a transition mid-year was going to be necessary. &8220;We have had plenty of time to prepare,&8221; said Warner.

Cook and Campisi-Snider have been working together during the move.

The school will have a &8220;Come and See&8221; Monday, Jan. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. Maps will be given out of the school and where each child&8217;s classroom is. The official open house is scheduled for February.

Parents are instructed to drop-off their child in the front of the school and parking is also available in the front. Buses will drop-off children behind the school under a covered crossing.

&8220;There will be plenty of volunteers on hand Thursday, Jan. 4, to help students find their classrooms and teachers,&8221; said Cook