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Marietta Middle School receives new roof, landscaping

Other upgrades were completed as well over spring break

Photos by Janelle Patterson Water damage can be seen in the attic of Marietta Middle School between Rube Goldberg-style water retention setups.

A new roof and fresh landscaping aren’t the only upgrades coming to the hillside that rises above Seventh, Putnam and Glendale in Marietta.

Throughout Marietta City Schools’ spring break, Greenleaf Landscaping was spotted working to cut back brush and old trees from the hill leading up to the present Marietta Middle School, and in their place young hedges were planted, including a set spelling “Tigers.”

“We’re adding lighting and so much to the school to make the best of what we have,” said Superintendent Will Hampton. “The new lighting has been tremendous and taken especially the inside from an industrial feel to having a whole new life. Plus the savings that we will have on this will pay for itself.”

Then, last week, MCS Board of Education approved the selection of a bidder for the new roof to be installed on the building this summer.

But next school year, the hilltop campus won’t be home to the middle school. Instead, it will welcome its youngest traffic since its completion in 1926.

Photos by Janelle Patterson Water damage can be seen in the attic of Marietta Middle School between Rube Goldberg-style water retention setups.

As a part of the school district’s consolidation from six academic buildings to four, the middle school is to be converted into an intermediate middle school.

This isn’t its first changeover.

Once, it was known as the district’s high school.

Then, in 1987, the building became a middle school.

This fall, it will house grades 3-6.

Unused space at Marietta Middle School is to become academic classrooms in the coming school year as the building is converted into an intermediate elementary for grades 3-6.

Veteran educator Ginger Brown is in her 32nd year of teaching, and all of the changes aren’t without their share of apprehension.

“But I get to stay in my room,” she said. “I’m excited about having different faces in the building… I’m not looking forward to going to elementary, which is what we’re going to be and that includes elementary schedule and elementary practices. I’m a little bit uncertain as to how to treat my sixth graders in an elementary building… typically sixth grade is transition so a lot of our teaching especially the first nine weeks it’s a more mature kind of expectation like having to switch classes.”

But she’s excited, she said, to return to block scheduling post-coronavirus restrictions and stick around for the sixth-grade students who will also be new to the building this fall even if they are at the top of the age groups.

“With this COVID situation, I’m certainly hoping that next year we’ll come back to the normative scheme,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to receiving a lot of programs that I had last year that I can’t do with my online students.”

For MMS Principal Brittany Schob, returning to the building after maternity leave this year will not only give the administrator a chance to send off all of her present building students but also prepare to introduce three rising grades into the revamped space.

Unused space at Marietta Middle School is to become academic classrooms in the coming school year as the building is converted into an intermediate elementary for grades 3-6.

“We’ve been able to put hardwood floors into some of the rooms and get rid of (more than) 30-year-old carpet, the rooms are getting reworked and we’ll have space not only to have each grade on its own floor but then mix in the skills classes like computer skills and art and music into those floors, it will be so much better use of the space we have,” said Schob.

She noted, one addition following greater lighting above the school’s steps down to Glendale Road is what will greet students on top of the hill outdoors after its installation this summer.

“We’re getting a new playground so that the kids will have a great space for recess, but not getting rid of the football field or the track,” she described. “It will go in that field to the left that’s just grass right now.”

Hampton said the playground is to be paid for out of permanent improvement funding of the district, as are the rest of the upgrades coming to the building.

He also noted that the change will offer more opportunities to foster not only students’ needs for those who are struggling, but also for accelerated learners, saying it’s easy to focus on regression and lost skills and forget about students who would benefit from extra positive academic challenge.

Unused space at Marietta Middle School is to become academic classrooms in the coming school year as the building is converted into an intermediate elementary for grades 3-6.

“We’ve got a whole spectrum of kids, and it’s easy to focus on just those kids who are struggling and how you remediate and (help them) to catch up,” said Hampton. “And you ignore the rest of that spectrum? That’s not fair. So we need to make sure that we do work on that end…The year before COVID, we were busing kids back and forth for (Talented and Gifted program) classes. Third grade is where you start testing for TAG, that’s where you really start to see different (strengths) in kids (so) having more elementary teachers available in one location allows us more flexibility with some acceleration as well.”

Present Phillips Elementary Principal Kristi Lantz is also projected to take on the assistant principal role at the intermediate elementary school in the 2021-2022 school year.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

Water damage can be seen in the attic of Marietta Middle School between Rube Goldberg-style water retention setups above classrooms on the third floor of the building.

Photos by Janelle Patterson Marietta Middle Schoolers navigate around trash bins staged for rain leaks on the third floor of the building this week between class changes.

While the outdoor track and asphalt basketball courts will remain at the present Marietta Middle School into the coming school year, an addition of a playground will welcome third- through sixth-grade students to the building this fall when the campus is converted into an intermediate elementary school.

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