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Murray Elementary School Celebrates Opening of New Kindergarten Complex

December 14, 2013
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

The Dublin Unified School District and Murray Elementary School community formally welcomed the opening if its new kindergarten classroom project. In a habit that never seems to get old, the celebration was complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony. As one of the oldest school sites in the district, this facilities improvement had been highly anticipated. Work on this project commenced in spring, 2013. It necessitated the demolition of the existing kindergarten building and the replacement of the existing EDCC daycare building. While the new classrooms are now occupied, a secondary element of this project remains to be completed. By summer 2014, the side parking lot will be expanded and a much more efficient ingress/egress will be installed.

Like the new Humanities building on the Wells Middle school campus, the kindergarten complex was delivered on budget and ahead of schedule. So, rather than trying to move into their classrooms during the winter break, the kindergarten instructors were able to set up their teaching spaces much sooner. One of the highlights from this upgrade is a fully dedicated Science Laboratory that all students will have the opportunity to enjoy.

OneDublin.org had the opportunity to sit down with Principal Carrie Nerheim and gain her perspective on what this construction projects means to Murray.

OneDublin.org: Given your background as a certificated member at Frederiksen Elementary and witnessing what was possible for Murray, what were your expectations?

Principal Carrie Nerheim

Principal Carrie Nerheim

Carrie Nerheim: “I knew the new buildings would be gorgeous having worked at both Frederiksen and Dublin Elementary schools. The rooms are spacious and have tremendous storage. However, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscaping. The new playground is not only a wonderful place to play but also provides several outdoor classroom spaces. The parking lot and surrounding areas are state of the art and will triple our available parking when completed.”

OneDublin.org: As one of the legacy school sites within DUSD, please explain what this Measure C-driven project means to the Murray community.

Nerheim: “We are fortunate at Magical Murray because we have a tight knit community with a high level of parent involvement. Our staff is committed to every student receiving a rigorous education. With the new construction, the outside of Murray now reflects the high caliber of instruction taking place inside. It provides a joyous place for our students to begin their educational journey.”

OneDublin.org: Please describe the response that you have received from students and families on their new learning environment.

Nerheim: “Everyone is thrilled! I have had parents come into the office just to comment on how wonderful the new construction is. Students love their classrooms but the playground is the star!”

OneDublin.org: Anything else that you would like to add?

Nerheim: “I just want to thank our Dublin community for voting “Yes” on measure C. Your support of our students is tremendous and greatly appreciated. I know that in order for the measure to pass, many voters who do not have school age children voted yes to make this possible. I am proud to work in a city that supports children and this is what makes Dublin so special.”

Once the formal ceremony concluded, all of those in attendance were invited to tour the new classrooms and the EDCC center. District staff, Trustee members, parents and other dignitaries milled about as cake was served. This created an opportunity to visit with one of Murray’s kindergarten teachers, Alison Starr. Ms. Starr attained a Liberal Arts degree from CSU Sacramento. She has also continued to pursue professional development courses every year through various channels including Alameda County, Phoenix University, Chapman University and others. She has taught for 24 years – all within DUSD. Alison had previously worked in 2nd/3rd grades and has been a kindergarten teacher for the past 10 years. Alison shared her thoughts on the day.

OneDublin.org: Given your tenure at Murray Elementary, what has the completion of the new kindergarten complex meant to you and your colleagues?

Alison Starr

Alison Starr

Alison Starr: “First, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I would like to thank the taxpayers of Dublin for approving the bond measures that provided the funding that has brought the entire district up to 21st century standards. Without that support these improvements could not have happened.”

OneDublin.org: How have your students responded to their new learning space?

Starr: “The students are ecstatic about the new digs. They love the extra room inside and out. They very much appreciate the new easy to use bathroom and water fountain. They also appreciate the new “rainbow rug” that allows for their personal space bubbles to be a bit bigger than previously. Another new thing they very much like is that the the new tables that don’t shake when you erase!”

OneDublin.org: Please explain the primary differences/advantages in your current classroom vs. your previous space.

Starr: “The new kindergarten complex is so amazing in its amenities. There is a huge increase in square footage and storage that allows teachers to maintain many different staging areas for learning. All learners learn best when they are transitioned to a new topic by also transitioning to a new area. The new rooms allow me to have a Calendar/story time area, a computer area, an area focused on the Smartboard, a guided reading area (where I work with a small group on decoding and comprehension) as well as individual student work spaces.

“Having natural light is not to be underestimated on its value! The huge picture windows in the back offer amazing views of Mount Diablo where in the former room all we saw was road and parking lot. Also, being away from the street is comforting and makes us feel secure. The immensity of the area is astounding and so many great pieces of equipment!”

So, a group of students and teachers didn’t have to wait until Christmas. They received the early gift of a new classroom. The project will be benefit future Murray Cougars for many years to come. OneDublin.org would like to commend Kim McNeely, Project Manager Craig Lemos and the entire Facilities department for the successful execution of this complex.

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