Choctaw-Nicoma Park students start year in updated schools

The Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District opened two new schools Tuesday. Students returned to upgrades in every school in the district.
BY TRICIA PEMBERTON Published: August 24, 2011

McCharen said every building in the district received some level of renovation. The district's seven remaining schools have new classrooms, new library media centers or new cafeterias.

The work was funded through part of a $70 million bond issue that patrons passed with 86 percent of the vote in December 2008.

Choctaw High School gained a third wing for its performing arts center. A new science building has 10 state-of-the-art science classrooms, McCharen said.

At most schools, technology infrastructure has been upgraded, and the district is adding instructional technology such as Smartboards, computers and software.

Athletic facilities also have been upgraded at the high school and middle school.

McCharen said the district is building for growth. He expects to have about 5,300 students when enrollment counts are taken in several weeks. That will be between 150 and 200 new students for this school year, he said.

“We're very pleased our projects were completed,” McCharen said. “When you embark on as many projects as we did, there's always a risk they won't be completed in time. But all of our students are in their new classrooms in the new buildings and where they are supposed to be.

“Not everything is perfect, but it was a good first day of school. Everything went very well, and we're very pleased,” he said.


To see a video interview with Choctaw Middle School Principal JeanAnn Gaona and a photo gallery, go to

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