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Community tours newly renovated Berg Elementary

Teachers and community members tour the newly renovated Berg Elementary School on Monday. (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)

Parents, former educators and community members gathered at Berg Elementary Monday night to tour the renovated school.

Visitors scrawled their name on orange poster paper outside the office, followed J.E.Dunn staff for a tour, then enjoyed coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies upstairs.

"We're just welcoming the public in to see the improvement that we're really proud of in our school," Kathleen Jepson, second-grade teacher at Berg, said.

It's her first year at Berg, so she didn't know what the building looked like before.

"I love the classrooms," she said. "The storage is amazing. ... They're good-sized rooms. Everything's so fresh. It's just a big, new beginning all around."

Jepson said a lot of retired teachers came to the open house.

"I think they're really excited to get back in the building and reminisce, walk down the memory lane, see how different it is," she said. "It's fun to see the excitement on their faces."

One such teacher was Johanne Vinson, who taught at Berg for 17 years.

"I think it's fabulous," she said of the renovation. "I'm glad they're using the building, too. I hated to see it vacant because there's still a lot of need for it, and it's a good building."

Diana Stroud, Audra Galster, Sandra Schobinger and Carla Schaeffer wandered around the new building, excited to see the changes, especially their old classrooms. They taught at Berg before the remodel and now teach at Dickinson Middle School.

They said the building now is beautiful; they love the color. They were pleased with the relocation of the office, now downstairs beside the main entrance. Prior to the remodel, the office was upstairs, and people would wander into their classrooms looking for it, they said.

In addition to the new office, the media center, music room and playground were also new. Other improvements to the school included new doors, carpet, paint, plumbing, drinking fountains, lighting and furniture. Sinks were added to every classroom. The bathrooms were made handicapped-accessible.

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