by: Lynn Casey Updated:
BIXBY, Okla. - Another sign of a population boom in Bixby: the school district needed to build an entire building just to house 9th graders. There was just no more room to keep all high school students at the same building. This 9th grade center was the final phase from the 2010 bond issue in Bixby 9th graders started their first day of high school here Wednesday.
building Bixby High School freshmen have all to themselves is so new you can still smell the paint. Students and teachers are still learning their way around and getting used to all the new gear.
“It’s not really different but it is cool having our own building to grow closer as a class,” says Carlie Walker, a student at the 9th grade center.
“I’m just glad we aren’t the little kids in the high school,” says fellow student Blake Behrens.
Students came up with all kinds of upsides to having their own building. The administration had its own reasons for wanting to build, that go beyond needing the space.
“It is much more conducive for their learning environment, having their peers in the same building,” says Kate Creekmore, Bixby 9th Grade Center Principal.
Of course you can’t talk about building schools these days without talking safety features. Nobody can get into the building without being buzzed in. But to get into a Bixby School you have to do more than show ID.
“They’re not allowed to enter unless they pass a background check,” says Creekmore.
There’s also a classroom that turns into a tornado shelter with metal shuttered windows—and a locking metal door in case they need to use it as any other type of shelter.
“If we needed to do an intruder alert or lockdown procedure we could for sure use it as that if needed,” says Creekmore.
The center still needs some additions, especially if they’re going to keep up with the population growth in town. The next bond issue that will go to a vote in February will include provisions for this building to add a gym, library and more classrooms.