New elementary school to greet Granby’s youngest students

  • Granby East Meadow Elementary School Principal William Lataille stands in the new library - which was formerly the gym - in the renovated older section of the school. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Ben Burke, with Robert H. Lord Company, of Manchester, Connecticut, assembles table legs in a common area of the newly renovated older section of East Meadow Elementary School in Granby on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A typical classroom in the newly renovated older section of East Meadow Elementary School in Granby is shown on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Globes and other items from the upper elementary grade classrooms of Granby East Meadow Elementary School were staged in the lobby of the school over the summer, waiting to return to the older section where renovations were still ongoing. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A plaque in the entrance of East Meadow School in Granby commemorates the completion of the new addition (seen through window at right) and the newly-renovated older section (1965) of the elementary school. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Granby East Meadow Elementary School Principal William Lataille looks out onto the newly landscaped play area at the school. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The original plaque of the East Meadow School in Granby, from 1965, hangs just outside the new gymnasium at the expanded and newly renovated elementary school. Photographed on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • This Granby dinosaur resides on East State Street (Rt. 202) between the East Meadow School, at right, and Granby Junior Senior High School. Photographed on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

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    Sections of the landscaping around the expanded and newly renovated East Meadow School in Granby are designated "no mow" to lessen the environmental impact of the elementary school. Photographed on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

For the Gazette
Published: 8/22/2018 8:06:44 AM

GRANBY — The brand new East Meadow School in Granby will open its doors for its first full year of use when students return to school on Sept. 5.

​​​​​​The $32.5 million project included renovating the old 1965 East Meadow School, and adding on an addition to the front of the school, which used to be a parking lot, Principal Bill Lataille said. In addition to shiny new classrooms, teachers, staff and the 360 students will also get to use the most current educational technologies as well as being environmentally efficient.

“Everything was given a complete face-lift,” said Lataille.

The school was completed in February so this upcoming year will be the first full year the school will be in use. The building will now serve as the town’s only elementary school, as its two elementary schools — East Meadow and West Street — are combined in one location at East Meadow.

East Meadow, located next to the high school on East State Street, will serve students from preschool through sixth grade. Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders will occupy the newly renovated side of the building, while students in lower grades will occupy the new half.

The combination of the schools student bodies comes as a relief to Lataille, who served as principal of both schools for the past three years.

Lataille said that he had to split his time between the two buildings, traveling between East Meadow and West Street at least once a day. Lataille was not alone; he said that elementary art, music, and physical education teachers also had to split their time between the two schools.

“Being under one roof is a huge relief,” said Lataille

The principal said he is also happy to be out of West Street, where “technology was non-existent.”

Lataille said West Street only had one wireless router and that the infrastructure simply wasn’t up to date with current technology. The new school is chock full of technology. Every classroom has a projector with an interactive screen, a built-in sound system, and automatic and motion sensing LED lights. The building itself is also technologically advanced, with a number of energy saving and efficiency measures.

The classrooms were all redone including new desks, cabinets and furniture. A number of common areas were also created to give the school a more open feel, said Lataille.

The school also got new playgrounds, which Lataille said emphasizes “natural play.” The playgrounds do not have jungle gyms, but rather use rocks and hills to serve as structures of play.

Lataille said that the teachers are “psyched” to start learning how to use the new technology and get settled into their new classrooms. She also said the students are really excited to start the year in the new school, going as far as to say that students came up to him at the end of last year saying they didn’t want to leave.

Officials are expected to host an open house this week to show off East Meadow, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony when the school year starts up.

“There is so much positivity,” said Lataille.

Junior/senior high

Granby Junior/Senior High School has a number of changes coming this school year for its 341 students, according to principal Stephen Sullivan.

Sullivan said the school is offering two new courses, a College Board-approved advanced placement physics class, and a design and modeling course for the school’s junior high students.

Sullivan said the new program “aims to engage students in hands-on activities, projects and problems; empower them to solve real-world challenges while inspiring students to reimagine how they see themselves.”

The school will also introduce girls volleyball for the first time. The  team will compete at the junior varsity level for two years before becoming a varsity program.




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