For the most part, Monday was business as usual for Quaker Valley Middle School students and staff--except that this wasn't your typical first day back to class.
The new and improved Quaker Valley Middle School reopened for classes Monday to students in grades 6 through 8 after undergoing a $26.5 million renovation.
Middle school principal Sean Aiken said the school day, including arrival and dismissal, went “very well” with the new walkway and new traffic patterns on Harbaugh Street. He estimated about 98 percent of parents followed the correct driving patterns.
“We really increased our walking and car riding population over here in Sewickley. We see a lot of kids walking and getting dropped off. It went smoothly,” he said.
Sewickley police directed traffic to help with the flow of parents dropping off and picking up students. Signs installed around the general neighborhood were also there to help direct cars.
“For the most part, the parents are following the traffic plan,” said Police Chief James Ersher, who said the police presence will continue.
Buses, meanwhile, were running a little late, but Aiken said it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, considering. There were also a few minor glitches dealing with technology that needed to be ironed out, he said.
“You kind of expect that the first day,” he said.
Inside the building, school officials said students were finding their way from the cafeteria to their classrooms without issues.
Tina Vojtko, district spokeswoman, said students appeared to adjust quickly to the transition. By afternoon, Vojtko said it was amazing to see how much the building looked "lived in." Teachers posted items on bulletin boards and walls, students used the treadmills in the fitness center, played ping-pong in the gym and practiced guitar in the band room.
“School’s going on," Vojtko said. "They’re not missing a beat.”
Click here to view a gallery of first day photos.