New Castle News

New Castle

January 9, 2014

Photo Gallery, Story: Kindergartners have first day at new Lockley

NEW CASTLE — Young eyes were wide with wonder.

Four- and 5-year-olds bundled in winter coats, hats, scarves and mittens got off school buses Wednesday morning and walked single file into a brand new school.

New Castle students got a late start Wednesday because of the unusually cold weather and kindergartners arrived at the new Lockley Early Learning Center just before lunchtime for their first day of school there.

Excited was an understatement.

“I want to stay here for the rest of my life,” one boy remarked as he, his teacher and classmates took a walking tour of the building.

Some children were happy to have lockers for their belongings.

They entered classrooms that have brightly colored furniture. Smartboards were turned on to show the weather forecast.

Before Christmas, the students were attending kindergarten at the former St. Joseph school on the East Side while the learning center was being completed.

Elementary principal Debbie DeBlasio oversaw Wednesday’s transition, which she said had surpassed her expectations.

“I’m so happy for our children.”

She also said she is proud of her brother, school board member George Gabriel, who had spearheaded the project when he was superintendent.

John Sarandrea, hired after Gabriel’s retirement, is overseeing the project to its finish.

Children in first and second grades will start classes in the building in September.

“It’s more than I expected,” said DeBlasio, whose office is inside the main entrance. The building was designed by Eckles Architecture.

“It’s very open, bright and the classrooms are very conducive to learning,” she said, adding, “No more tutoring in the stairwells.”

She was referring to a lack of space in the other elementary schools, which are to be closed later this year.

“It’s like a dream,” commented Lockley’s reading teacher, Lori Doran. “It really doesn’t seem real yet. It was a real thrill when the kids got here and you saw the looks on their faces.”

“This is beyond what I could ever imagine what a school would look like,” said kindergarten teacher Vicki Bober. “I’m extremely thankful to the former superintendent, the school board and Mr. Sarandrea for making this all happen.”

In the cafeteria, students were given a choice of chicken wraps or a sandwich. Fruit, salad and milk also were part of the menu.

Wooden trees that trimmed the cafeteria walls have colored knobs to represent fruit and serve as hooks for children’s coats as they enter school in the morning for breakfast.

Renae Cotelesse had her students seated in a circle on the floor at the front of her classroom for a reading lesson. They passed along a stone as each said in a full sentence what he or she liked about the new school. One girl liked the purple tables. Several liked their new lockers.

“The lockers are a big hit here,” DeBlasio commented.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
New Castle
  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle hires information technology director

    The New Castle school district has a new information technology director. At its meeting this week the board hired Emily Sanders of Cranberry Township to fill the position, left vacant by the retirement of Beth Barber.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • High school registration scheduled at New Castle

    Registration has been set for new students in grades seven through 12 moving into the New Castle school district.

    July 15, 2014

  • Police.jpg Couple accused of contacting rape victim

    A man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint allegedly tried to get her to drop the charges.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • festival1.jpg Break out the bubbly

    New Castle may be the Fireworks Capital of America, but Friday night bubbles filled the air.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum1.jpg State title ties: Wampum, New Castle teams celebrate incredible success

    Their spectaular success stories are separated by more than a half century. But they sat side-by-side Thursday morning, sharing more than just breakfast at Jata’s Diner, a familiar meeting spot for former Wampum High School players. 

    July 5, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hooker.tiff Male Athlete of the Year: New Castle's Malik Hooker

    Once in a while, an athlete comes along who redefines the very word. Then, there’s Malik Hooker. The New Castle High graduate took athleticism to a level rarely seen before in the area on the basketball court and on the football turf.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District to sell closed schools, contents

    The New Castle school district will advertise for proposals to buy its three just-closed elementary schools.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results