Tibbals Elementary is Prepared for Growth
Tibbals Elementary School (WISD), located at 621 Waters Edge Way in Murphy, recently underwent a 7,400 sq.ft. addition. This addition includes six new classrooms, two adult restrooms, janitor’s closet and access to the playground. Four of those rooms will house fourth grade classes, one will be the new art room and one will have dual function in that it will be both the science lab and GT room.
Murphy resident Jamie Fletcher, Principal of Tibbals Elementary, said this addition was needed due to growth in the area. She said, “We needed to respond to the growth. We’ve definitely continued to grow…(They thought) the value of the houses in this neighborhood were in a price point more appropriate to homes that were second and third homes, not necessarily first homes. Your first homes are homes with little children. It has maintained it’s size. We’re still sitting at around 660 kids. And now, they’re building a new neighborhood, Bluff Creek Estates, and those children will come here. Last I checked, there were already 40 lots sold. Some of those houses are done, or almost done. Over the next year, teachers will need to prepare for new kids coming in. We need to be ready to receive them with open arms.”
Each of the new rooms have a SMART MX75 Interactive Panel. Fletcher said, “Teachers and students can connect to them remotely with their devices. They are multi-touch and lessons can be created and saved.” Next summer, all existing smart boards will be replaced throughout Tibbals with this technology.
Fletcher believes this addition will help the school culture. She said this will allow grade level teachers to be grouped together. As it is now, one classroom per grade is in a hallway by themselves. It will also be a way to keep class sizes down. Because of this addition, a sensory room will be created for kids who have sensory issues. The new rooms have not been used as classrooms yet, but some end of the year activities and testing were held there.
New paint throughout the school is underway. A new mural will be installed in July. A new playground and carpet were installed in 2018. The playground has ADA equipment.
Four new classroom teachers will start in the fall as well as several new paraprofessionals. There will be a total of 34 teachers. 660 students are enrolled for next year. There were 657 students enrolled at the end of the 2018-19 school year. They anticipate an increase of 20 students next year due to the new development.
Construction on the addition began Jul. 2018 and was completed Apr. 2019. Copious amounts of rain caused the original completion date of Dec. 2018 to be delayed to Apr. The project was approved in May 2018 at a WISD school board meeting. The district transferred money from general funds for capital projects.