First day of class at the new Rainelle Elementary School - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

First day of class at the new Rainelle Elementary School

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RAINELLE, W. Va (WVVA)-- Rainelle elementary's new school building is officially open for classes.

Although some boxes still need to be unpacked, the students are already calling it "home".

"They're very excited, and we're excited too," said Vicky Cline, the Director of Technology and Testing for Greenbrier County Schools.

Principal John Lewis agreed. "It's been a while but it's been well worth the wait."

Lewis said the old school, which will be torn down, was not a good learning environment for students. It was over 70 years old, and falling apart.

"The infrastructure wasn't adequate to run a school, so the opportunities are much greater up here," he said as he sat in his new office.

The only way for visitors to get inside is by pressing a buzzer, which can allow a secretary to unlock the doors. She can also request that the person requesting access insert their driver's license or other ID into the machine for further identification.

Lewis said this makes the new building safer than the students ever were in the old one.

"We have a new lock system, all the doors will be locked all the time. And with the air conditioning and hvac we don't have to worry about a door or window being open all the time."

On Digital Learning Day, students were able to celebrate with new technology as well.

"It enables us to do small group learning, to do more collaborative learning, to use more technology in a more innovative way," said Cline.

An open house will be held later this year.

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