Swelling enrollment leads to big changes at New Brockton Elementary

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NEW BROCKTON, Ala. (WTVY) - Enrollment is way up at New Brockton Elementary, where more classrooms and a new kitchen have made a big difference.

More changes may be coming by the start of next year.

"It's a different environment, and I love it,” said New Brockton Elementary Lunchroom Manager Regena Adams. “The kids are just precious."

After 34 years with Wal-Mart, Regena Adams was ready for a change.

So she took over as the lunchroom manager at New Brockton Elementary, and she isn't the only thing new to the school, its also got a brand new kitchen.

"This one is state of the art, it's very roomy,” said Adams. “Got all brand new equipment, very high tech, and I'll thing we'll do very good with it."

New Brockton Elementary opened in the 1970's, and has never had a kitchen.

For the past four decades, they've been shuttling in meals from the high school.

"It won't be cooked earlier, then transferred here,” said Adams. “Everything will be fresh for the kids, and I'll think they'll enjoy it and it'll taste a lot better."

By the start of next year, they'll be even more kids to cook for.

Last summer, New Brockton Elementary - a Coffee County school - gained more than 100 students after Enterprise City Schools added fees for students from outside the city limits.

"Ever since I've been here, we've grown every year, but this last year, we've grown exponentially and plan on growing exponentially again this summer,” said New Brockton Elementary Principal Jason Hadden.

Hadden says he expects to see 150 more kids going into next year, which would push enrollment over 700.

They got several portable classrooms from Wallace College last year, and they may need a few more if the numbers keep climbing.

"We renovated them, and they look great,” said Hadden. “We're proud to have them. The kids love them, and the teachers love them."

So, new classrooms, new kitchen, what's next?

Hadden says the school will be adding on to the cafeteria to deal with the larger lunch crowd, but for right now, he's content with how well they've handled growth.

The portable classrooms aren't a permanent solution. Hadden says building onto the school is part of a five year plan that's in place, but ultimately will be up to the school board to decide.