Monday was the final day of Spring Break and El Dorado High School faculty and staff spent the day unpacking boxes and getting their classrooms primed for the first day of school in the new classroom wing, a part of the $19.14 million bond issue passed by voters in 2005.


Monday was the final day of Spring Break and El Dorado High School faculty and staff spent the day unpacking boxes and getting their classrooms primed for the first day of school in the new classroom wing, a part of the $19.14 million bond issue passed by voters in 2005.

Over the vacation, a number of students and staff opted to stay in school, moving boxes, desks and other equipment from the old building into the new facility.
Principal Bret McClendon welcomed his staff back to school Monday morning, giving them a rundown of the plans for the coming week. Even with optional tours conducted the first day of the break, many students will be seeing the new classrooms for the first time today.

“The kids who helped move loved this place,” McClendon said. “Everywhere they went, ‘This is neat. This is cool.’ They loved it. We’ve got to build on that.”

McClendon said he planned an all-school meeting in the gymnasium for first thing this morning to get students hyped for the new building.

“The public is excited to come in and see this,” McClendon told the EHS staff. “I’ve had numerous people who’ve said ‘When can we come?’ I get stopped in Dillon’s because they want to see this.

“That enthusiasm that the public has, that I think all of us have – it gives us an opportunity to really lift our level of enthusiasm for simply being here.”

He recognized there was still some fine tuning left to be done.

“I know it’s not perfect. I know you’re missing some things,” he said. “That’s OK. Because we’re going to fix it; we’re going to get you what you need. The desire to be in this place and wanting to be here everyday starts with us. If we’re not enthusiastic, we can’t expect the kids to be.

“We’re in a new place. This is a new beginning. We need to treat it like that.”

“I never really thought I’d have a new classroom,” said science teacher Steve Fellers. “It was not good over there [in the old building]. The problems in the last five years really accelerated.”

EHS teacher Falisa Calhoun is excited about the new building.

“It’s not falling apart or dripping or smelling bad or got mold growing off of it,” Calhoun said. “Just to have something they can take pride in I think will make a huge difference in behavior out here. Hopefully this will be just exactly what we need to get people back focused on academics.”