It has been more than a year in the making, but on Monday, teachers, students and parents on city's westside enjoyed a new unified elementary school.
Combining two schools into one, the J.A. Garcia Elementary campus, once home to Prescott Elementary, was opened.
The idea creates a whole new atmosphere for teachers and students, but in no time, students at the new elementary school were feeling right at home in their new digs.
Teachers were given one week and a weekend to pack up their respective old schools and move into their new campus, consolidating Garcia with Prescott.
"Our students are together. Are one," Principal Norma DeLeon said. "Pre-K through fifth grade. And we are elated, and we are just so honored to be together as one whole campus. We're one whole campus, but house two."
The days of running between the two campuses officially came to an end on Monday for Principal DeLeon and Assistant Principal Jackie Torres, and it couldn't have been a day to soon.
"It was very difficult to be at both campuses, to try and visit, and for the students to know we were here for them; and trying to, like I said, stay abreast of both campuses and trying to resolve any issues that came up, it was a very difficult endeavor," Torres said. "But you know what? We made the best of it."
The school's new mascot, the Navi-gators, was picked by students, and has a double meaning of sorts. As they navigate through life, learning and gaining wisdom, the students will enjoy their new, more comfortable surroundings.
"There's so much pride in this school," DeLeon said. "As we walk around, the students feel this honor. This pride, you know, that this is their school, and it's just a fresh breath of air for all of us."
While there is still some finishing touches that need to be done at the campus, the man whose name now adorns this school, Dr. J.A. Garcia, would be proud.
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