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Photos: LaGrange’s newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School welcome students

Staff report

Allison McCay, a second grade teacher at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School, guides her students into their new classroom on the first day of school today.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool01.jpgAllison McCay, a second grade teacher at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School, guides her students into their new classroom on the first day of school today.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

Allison McCay, a second grade teacher at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School, asks her students to raise their hands if they know their name and will be able to find their desk during their first day of school today.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool02.jpgAllison McCay, a second grade teacher at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School, asks her students to raise their hands if they know their name and will be able to find their desk during their first day of school today.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

Allison McCay, a second grade teacher at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School, helps students find their desk on the first day of school today.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool03.jpgAllison McCay, a second grade teacher at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School, helps students find their desk on the first day of school today.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

School administrators at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School help parents through the registration process on the first day of school today.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool04.jpgSchool administrators at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School help parents through the registration process on the first day of school today.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

A kindergartener waits outside his classroom for his teacher to arrive on the first day of school today at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool05.jpgA kindergartener waits outside his classroom for his teacher to arrive on the first day of school today at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

Second graders at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School climb stairs on the first day of school today to the second story to where their classrooms are.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool06.jpgSecond graders at the newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School climb stairs on the first day of school today to the second story to where their classrooms are.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

Christopher White, 7, a second grader at Ethel Kight Elementary School begins his school work on the first day of classes today.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool07.jpgChristopher White, 7, a second grader at Ethel Kight Elementary School begins his school work on the first day of classes today.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

Quin Wallace, left, takes a photograph of her son, Ken Cameron, 8, on the first day of school today at Ethel Kight Elementary School.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool08.jpgQuin Wallace, left, takes a photograph of her son, Ken Cameron, 8, on the first day of school today at Ethel Kight Elementary School.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

Ken Cameron, 8, a second grader at Ethel Kight Elementary School, hangs up his backpack in his new classroom on the first day of school today.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/08/web1_WEBSchool09.jpgKen Cameron, 8, a second grader at Ethel Kight Elementary School, hangs up his backpack in his new classroom on the first day of school today.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

LaGRANGE — The newly rebuilt Ethel Kight Elementary School in LaGrange opened its doors today for the 2015-2016 school year.

At 101,801 total square feet and two stories, the new Ethel Kight Elementary has a maximum capacity of 800 students. There won’t be near that many set to go this school year, according to the school’s administration, but the facility has been designed to accommodate growth.

One part of the old school still stands – the cafeteria, which has been renovated with new kitchen equipment, tables, seats and an outdoor patio where students can eat. A plaque still is affixed to the wall, noting the add-on was built in 1973, when the building was Troup Junior High School, with Callaway Foundation funding.

The new building has been equipped with new technology, including more efficient utility equipment.

For lighting, the school system opted to use LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, which use a fraction of the electricity, generate less heat and have a longer lifespan than fluorescent lights. Light switches in certain areas at the school also are connected to motion sensors to automatically shut off the lights if no one is around.

The new school comes with a price tag of about $16 million, funded from special-purpose, local-option sales tax – or SPLOST – funds. The SPLOST, a voter-approved 1 percent sales tax on items countywide, can be used for specified capital expenses, like building, equipment and maintenance costs – but not salaries or programs.