New middle school is a class act | SierraSun.com

New middle school is a class act

Renée Shadforth
Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra Sun Michael Arington gathers his sixth-grade class at Alder Creek Middle School's gymnasium for the first time this year. He used the beach ball in an introduction exercise.
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Wearing new black pants and a chain choker necklace with bobby pins strung through it, Sophie Aaron waited impatiently for her next tour group. She couldn’t wait to show her fellow students the halls of the new Alder Creek Middle School.”Giving the tours is hard, but it’s worthwhile,” the seventh grader said as other students elbowed their way to class lists notifying students of their homeroom teachers this year.

Aaron and other Alder Creek student leaders gave a sneak peek to other children and parents at the new campus on Friday. The $31 million project was nearly complete and the main building was finished just in time for the first day of class on Tuesday. The seventh-grade portables will be complete in the coming months, and class schedules have been shifted to accommodate the construction until the buildings are ready.The campus is situated on a 35-acre lot off state Route 89 north at Alder Drive with 19 classrooms, eight portable classrooms, a gymnasium, library, cafetorium, and weight, band and health rooms. Outside there’s a NCAA-sized turf soccer field.With all the new facilities, sixth-grader Erik Golden couldn’t pinpoint what he like best.

“It looks really good,” he said during his tour with Aaron. “I don’t know what I like yet.”Alder Creek was funded mostly through Measure C, a school facilities bond passed by local voters in 1999. The school district also received $7.2 million in state grants.The new middle school is also considered a high-performance school by the California Energy Commission. The designation comes as the result of ground-source heating under the campus and natural lighting used inside the main building.

Also, select materials used at Alder Creek are recycled, such as the carpet, which is made of 60 percent post-consumer products.After Aaron wrapped up her tour, she said she thinks her new school is “really cool” and that she hoped offering tours to students will give her a jump start at Alder Creek.”I think giving the tour is an experience,” she said. “You get to help people and it helps your reputation so people come to you when you need help.”