School starts Thursday for students attending Broken Arrow's newest elementary school.
Timber Ridge Elementary School is the district's 15th elementary school located at Kenosha and 209th East Ave.
Broken Arrow is growing and the new $18.6-million school building is helping meet the demand.
"We’re growing leaps and bounds and even when the economy slowed several years ago, we continued to grow. We grow at 1% to 3% every year," said Michelle Bergwall, Chief Operating Officer for Broken Arrow Public Schools. "We’re seeing those numbers even this year. I think yesterday we exceeded 20,000 students in our enrollment,”
Timber Ridge has 36 classrooms split into six different pods by grade level.
The new school will have about 500 students and district officials said it could hold 900 students.
"When you grow as a district anywhere from 400 to 600 a kids a year—that’s an elementary school. Granted the 400 to 600 is K thru 12, but you’re still growing, so every couple of years you’re going to need a new elementary school,” said Bergwall.
Timber Ridge will also house the district's second FEMA tornado shelter for students.
Teachers are excited for students to arrive.
"Walking into Timber Ridge, it’s just very inviting, the yellow says, ‘hey hello! Let’s be happy!’ The kids, they come in, they see splashes of color every where and I feel that it’s going to be a great place for them to foster a love of learning,” said Jennifer Betsworth, Timber Ridge Elementary teacher.
Broken Arrow school officials said a 16th elementary school is planned to start construction in the next three years.
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