The Anna School District board of trustees held a special meeting on Aug. 3, and were able to take a tour of the middle school expansion and the new Judy Lindsey Harlow Elementary school. They were joined by special guests Judy and Leonard Harlow, who were invited to see Judy Harlow’s namesake.


The first stop of the tour was Anna Middle School. Brad Duncan, the executive director of support services, walked the school board entourage through the newest additions to the middle school. Duncan said the expansion will allow the school to grow with the ever expanding city.


“The additions to AMS included an additional 37,000-square feet,” Duncan said. “This addition increased the student capacity inside Anna Middle School from 450 to 850. The greatest benefit is that all students will be housed inside the building and has allowed for the elimination of four portable buildings from the front of the campus. This expansion creates an operational capacity for AMS that help address the capacity and growth of this campus.”


The add-ons to the school include a band hall, instrument practice rooms, a choir room, a theater classroom, a theater workshop, a new stage, an expanded cafeteria, a renovated kitchen, four new science rooms, 18 classrooms, expanded life skills classrooms and a satellite office for administration.


The band hall has a locker room for students to be able to store instruments. The theater department also now includes make-up rooms for the students to get ready for a show.


Anna Middle School also added a satellite office. The purpose of this is to have somebody from the administration, possibly the vice principal, with an office in a separate part of the school. This keeps from having all the offices clumped together at the front of the school, and also makes personnel more accessible for students in the new addition.


Duncan said the science lab is state-of-the-art and comes equipped with a chemical fume hood. This will be used as a ventilation system for the lab. There are also plenty of cabinets for students to use.


After touring the middle school, the board of trustees were chauffeured over to Judy Lindsey Harlow Elementary. Due to ongoing construction the board of trustees members were issues hard hats for their tour. Even though the facility is currently just a shell of what it is to become, the guests could see a school taking shape.


Duncan said the new school’s floor is almost identical to Rattan and Bryant Elementary, save for library. Instead of having computer labs at the front of the library, like the other two schools, the library will have classrooms in the back.


“Since computers are mobile devices now, we added classrooms to the library,” Duncan said. “We were also able to add two classrooms upstairs, adding four classrooms to the school.”


The school is 85,000 square feet and will be able to hold 750 students.


Harlow said having a school named after her is still quite a bit to take in.


“This is all really overwhelming and I love it,” Harlow said. “I’m excited about the kids that will get to come here and the experiences they will have in it. I hope they love it as much as I loved my school.”