First-week growing pains past, McCormick ready for action

By Catherine Gabe -

Moving an entire school, including nearly 400 students, and planning a dedication ceremony is sure to mean a few glitches.

“Four days seemed like a marathon,” said McCormick Middle School principal Craig Housum. “The first day was the roughest.”

Kids didn’t know where their classrooms were, parents were uncertain where to pick up their children at the end of the day, the front office had difficulty with the locks and security system, and teachers’ Smart Boards weren’t connected to the computer system.

Housum said educators used Facebook, all-calls to families, and made contact with parents at dismissal times to share information and get everyone on track. “We couldn’t have done this without the staff,” he said.

“It was kind of confusing where to go,” fifth-grader Chandler Polen said. “We had a little tour where everything was and they showed us how to use our locker combinations to open our lockers.”

“We are truly a family,” Housum said at a dedication ceremony Sunday. “A school is just a building by itself.” Teachers, students, staff, and families make it a home. “There was hardly a frown in the building now that we’ve been in it four days,” he said.

Superintendent Dennis Mock said raising a new building and moving is exhausting.

During the move the elevator got jammed when people held the doors open for moving boxes and items. The problem caused a few delays and forced volunteers to use staircases, moving things along assembly-line fashion.

But McCormick students and staff are of hardy stock — they had more than enough flights of stairs at the old building, which grew more maze-like with each passing renovation and expansion.

The elevator is now working fine after a new circuit board was installed. The elevator is reserved for staff and students who must use it because of physical considerations, or if they have permission.

“I don’t want to jinx myself, but everything has gone pretty well and functioning as it should,” said Bill Skaggs, general superintendent for Ozanne Construction.

Catherine Gabe can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @ReporterGabe on Twitter.

By Catherine Gabe