Students and parents alike were excited not just for the first day of school Wednesday at Allen Frear Elementary but also for the complete renovation the Caesar Rodney school just underwent for one year.
The school is now as good as new after a $15.4 million renovation and Frear families love it.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said parent Jessica Giannetti, as she dropped off her son, third grader Peter Giannetti early Wednesday morning. “We looked it at yesterday. The inside is really nice. Everything is new.”
“I like it,” Peter Giannetti said. His favorite part of the renovation was the gym.
Rong Zhou dropper off her daughter, Frear second grader Cindy Lu, with her son, McIlvaine kindergartner Jacob Lu.
“Yesterday, we got a chance to look at it,” Zhou said. “It’s a very nice school.”
“I like it when they connect that hall to over there,” Cindy said, pointing to the where the school connects to Charlton School's cafeteria.
Frear Principal Tara Faircloth said Cindy Lu was referring to the fact that the school’s main office had been moved to the true center of the school and two perpendicular hallways were constructed. That opened up the center of the school so that just about the whole school was visible from the office, she said.
And her favorite part was the Caesar Rodney Rider painted on the floor of the lobby as the focal point of the school.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Faircloth said of the school’s renovation. “To see the students and their faces when they come in – they are so excited.”
Among the other parents dropping off her children Wednesday morning was Mickia Loper. She brought her daughters, second grader Mickayla Mclean and first grader Jnyra Harber, to Frear Elementary for the first day of school.
Loper said he really liked the renovation.
“I wish I could have gone to a brand new school when I was their age,” she said. “But, that’s OK. I’m happy for them.”
Parent Angie Porreca dropped off her son, Nicholas, a first grader, with her daughters Elizabeth and Leah. Angie Porreca and her husband both graduated from Caesar Rodney High and recently came back to the area to enroll their children in CR schools.
Once the first bell rang, Faircloth was busy greeting students everywhere she turned Wednesday as part of the excitement of going back to school.
That included first grade teacher Linda Price’s class as it visited the library.
There, librarian Caitlin Stalker and paraprofessional Cheryl Nicolo raved about having a state-of-the-art space to call their own.
“There’s lot of places for kids to sit and read a book they love and lots of computer space,” Stalker said.
“It’s more inviting to everyone,” Nicolo said. “I was here for five years before and it was just desks, a lot of tables and bookcases. This is an atmosphere to encourage reading. It’s like home with books – a warm place where you say, I want to read.”