Pelham Ridge prepares to move

By BRIANA HARRIS / Staff Writer

PELHAM – Pelham Ridge Elementary teachers, students and administrators are preparing to embark on a new journey that begins Oct. 17.

Principal Robin Hollingsworth said teachers have been packing their classrooms for the past two weeks in preparation for their move to a new school.

“Teachers have been coming in early before school – well before daylight – to pack, and staying until late at night so that they can devote all of their time during the day to teaching our students,” Hollingsworth said.

A moving company began moving boxes to the new school on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

“We keep saying that it feels like Christmas because we’re so excited, but it’s kind of sad at the same time,” Hollingsworth said. “We have a lot of memories in this school. Some of our teachers attended school here as children so it’s kind of bittersweet.”

The school gave gifts to all of its 85 teachers, administrators, staff, bus drivers, Child Nutrition Program workers and instructional aides to thank them for all of the hard work they’ve put in to help with the move.

“Everyone has been absolutely amazing,” Hollingsworth said. “There have been no negative words or actions. I really can’t put into words how remarkable everyone’s attitudes have been.”

Parents have stopped by the school to drop off doughnuts and other goodies for teachers and other have offered to help with whatever the school needs during the transition.

Pelham Ridge’s 823 students have spent the first few weeks of the school year at Valley Elementary because construction of the new school, located off Shelby County 52, was delayed by about 10 weeks.

Once the Valley Elementary building is vacated, the city of Pelham will retain ownership of it. The city has yet to decide what to do with the facility.

The first day of school in the new building is Oct. 17. There will be an open house on Oct. 16 to welcome parents and students to the new school. Hollingsworth said there will be a scavenger hunt to help parents and students become familiar with the school.

“It’s been a bonding experience for us and I believe sharing this experience will make us stronger as a team,” she said.