2 renovated schools to hold socials

       Two Westside schools that had major renovations this summer - Bristol and Washington elementaries - have scheduled ice cream socials before school starts where families can drop by and see how things look.
       The Washington event will be Friday, Aug. 10 from 2 to 3 p.m.
       Bristol's will be Wednesday, Aug. 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
       “People can walk around and feel the coolness,” said Washington Principal Terry Martinez, simultaneously referring to his school's new air-conditioning and upgraded facilities.
       Funded from the 2005 District 11 bond issue, both projects included air-conditioning and hard walls (in place of an “open classroom” style) to meet modern fire codes. The Washington climate control is provided by a geothermal system involving a pipe system that loops several hundred feet below the playground and (mostly out of view) through the school.
       Other than random last-minute items - such as the bookshelves not having arrived yet at Washington by the middle of this week - the contractors finished their work on time and the classrooms at both schools reportedly will be ready for students when school begins Aug. 16.
       Martinez was especially pleased by his school's success at finding money in a tight budget to install windows in the east wing of the school. In most classrooms there, the only windows had been those on their outside doors. “It was sterile,” he said. Although the added windows are not picture-window size, they provide natural light “and the kids will know what the weather's like,” Martinez said.

Westside Pioneer article