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Mercer students get more space

When the students at Hugh Mercer Elementary in Fredericksburg return in a few weeks, their school will have a new addition.

The school built more than 40 years ago was meant to hold 800 to 825 students.

More than 900 kindergarten, first- and second-graders are expected when school begins.

The 10,800-square-foot addition includes nine new classrooms, a special education room, an ESL room, an office for one of the school’s administrators, bathrooms and a teachers lounge. The space has been added to the 114,000-square-foot main building.

Fresh green and white paint, high ceilings and terazzo floors are all part of the new space designed to help relieve the overcrowding at the elementary school.

Large windows in several classrooms allow students views of the greenery outside—and hopefully won’t contribute to too much daydreaming during class.

There are a few other changes to the school as well. One that principal Marjorie Tankersley is most excited about is the increased security. A visitor will have to be buzzed in by a receptionist and pass through at least two doors before being able to enter the school.

Another room that used to be the audio/visual and music room is getting a makeover as well. The space was split into two rooms—one will continue to be a music room and the other will be a computer lab. A space in another part of the original building with multiple uses over the years, including in-school suspension, will become a STEM (science, engineering, math, technology) lab.

The addition cost $2.5 million and was started about a year ago. Though it ran into a few obstacles, it’s expected to be completed by the end of the month, before the first day of school.

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413