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Hartselle Enquirer

New Crestline Elementary School welcomes students

By Staff Reports  

Students and teachers at Crestline Elementary School will finish the 2023-24 academic year in a brand-new building.  

The first official day in the newly completed school building was May 8.  

The $36 million dollar project that began in October 2022 was completed just a week before by Bailey Harris Construction.  

Courtesy photo/Bailey Harris Construction

The new school features room to grow with 65 classrooms including a pre-K wing, a larger sensory room and a storm shelter. It is located beside Crestline’s existing building at 600 Crestline Drive S.W., on the property’s south side. 

Crestline Elementary Principal Karissa Lang said between 725-750 students from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade are expected to enroll this fall at the 105,000-square-foot school, which has a maximum capacity of 1,000 students. The former school is 75,000 square feet with 41 classrooms and was nearing capacity with 600 students.  

“We now have room to expand programs such as robotics, drones, green powers cars, additional STEM room for coding, and a new outdoor classroom that will accommodate our growing student population,” Lang said.  

“The teachers love their rooms with all the new furniture and of course everyone loves the expansive cafeteria, beautiful library and awesome gym.”  

The new building will consolidate existing, overcrowded pre-K programs at Barkley Bridge Elementary and F.E. Burleson Elementary. Lang said teachers from those programs will also move to Crestline. 

Hartselle City Schools pre-K Principal Dena Mayfield said having all pre-K programs in one school will present greater opportunities for collaboration among staff. She said pre-K enrollment in Hartselle’s three elementary schools totals 162 students, but she anticipates an additional 20 students will by this fall.  

Lang said the pre-K wing consists of 10 classrooms, 800 square feet each, and they’ll have 18 students in each of them. 

Lang said the car line for the pre-K wing will be separated from the main car line, something she hopes will cut down on traffic in front of the school. 

“We are still not doing drop off in the mornings like it will be in the fall. A parking loop and additional parking lot for pre-K and tiger teams will be constructed once the old school is demolished,” she said. “When this is complete, this will allow buses to drop off in the front, pre-K and tide students to enter through the side entrance with their own area and drop off for kindergarten through fourth grade students in the back. We are currently utilizing the back road for drop off and it is great, allowing more cars in at one time. 

Afternoon pickup at the new building, according to Lang, has been great so far.  

We have been able to decrease our car line by more than 10 minutes. We can use two lanes in the back and 20 cars are loaded at a time. By having the lane in the back, it allows cars to get off Crestline Drive. Previously, traffic was backed all the way down Frost Street and typically spilled over onto Highway 36.  

Lang said a new playground was recently built for Crestline and they will move the equipment, which is currently in storage, to the green space behind the new school. A special needs accessible playground will be built next to the main playground and will have two handicap accessible swings and a jungle gym built low to the ground which will make it easier for those students to climb. 

“A wheelchair ramp has also been built that will connect the special education wing with the SNAP playground,” Lang said. 

Lang said the playgrounds will be the last remaining projects of the school and said everything should be complete by August.  

Hartselle superintendent Brian Clayton said he is proud of the new state of the art facility.   

“There were five years of planning that went into the school by a design team,” Clayton said. “I know that all involved are very excited with the finished product.   

“We look forward to the facility serving the students, faculty, staff, administration and the community for many years to come.”  

Wes Tomlinson contributed to this report.  

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