Cravens Elementary School opened its doors to a 90% fully renovated building this January, and Principal Cortney Cliff is thankful to be able to give the students a school that’s as special as she says they are.
The renovations included a new fine arts/performing stage and gymnasium, a media center, classroom expansion, and a new playground which the students have deemed their park.
Cliff said the population of the school had surpassed their previous buildings’ needs and was increasingly becoming outdated, so she said they were in need of a new space.
“Our school was just outgrowing the classroom space that we had. Oftentimes, we had small group instructors sharing spaces and so we might have three people teaching in the same classroom and those things have all been rectified, and so now it’s just a super fun space,” Cliff said.
Discussions of updating Cravens Elementary began nearly a decade ago, but such projects take time.
“So our superintendents and our board just for the last decade have really pushed for this project to begin and it finally became our turn, so we’ve waited a long time,” Cliff said.
Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Matthew Constant said that completing the renovation showcases the school board’s dedication to reinforcing the community-based schools.
He noted that of the students at Cravens, 200 of them walk to school from home. With that knowledge, district officials wanted to give the students something that is welcoming and goes above the base educational benefits for the children.
“It is the place, especially in this neighborhood, where people go to get all their questions answered, to get the help they need, to get the education they deserve,” Constant said.
The past two years of construction have come to an end for the most part, as Constant said that 90% of the work had been completed. Most of the unfinished work is weather-related or “punch-list items” that need to be scratched off, he said.
“It is a special place for this community and this community deserves a special place,” Cliff said. “Now I feel like the facility represents how special and amazing the people in this community are.”