"The most fun for me is to walk in the front entrance, get down Main Street and stand at Main Street, Town Square, multipurpose room, grandstand area and begin to imagine that place filling up with students."  That thought coming from Clearspring Middle School Principal Designate Ed Neufeld during a tour of the new school.  

"That space is so big and so inviting, I think that space is going to be wonderful for students.  The biggest aha moment for me was standing on the second floor looking out over Town Square right after they put in the clerestory windows and see the brightness of that area.  To stand there and see the way the building has been designed to be good to humans was a wonderful moment for me."

Neufeld has seen the construction progress and having a construction background himself, he says he is confident the building will be done on time to start school in September.  But he adds that is not his responsibility.   His job is the people.  "I've got such good people coming.  Our school division is filled with great teachers and they are ready to go.  It's a difficult time right now, closing off and starting new is always tough for everybody, but they are going to be ready.  There is no doubt in my mind.  We are going to have a busy summer but we will be ready."

One challenge Neufeld has experienced stems from his need to interact with people but right now he has to work in a vacuum.  "I'm wired to work with people.  That is really important to me.  I knew coming into this, this would be more difficult for me than actually being in the building because I like to have people to test my ideas with and make good decisions based on listening to where things are.  You kind of understand your people and it's people where your decisions have the biggest impact so that's been a bit tough for me."

He adds he always looks forward to times when he can get together with his team which took place this week.  he has also had a chance to meet with people who are working on the school and those kinds of things energize him more.  Neufeld says one special experience was some time he spent with students this week.  "39 students, two teachers and I went out to Gillis Quarries to pick some fossil rocks that are going to go on the wall.  That was so not vacuum!  That was so exciting.  So many kids came and said this was an amazing field trip.  We actually got to see them cutting rocks out of the Earth's crust with massive saws.  Each student got to take home a fossil sample."

Neufeld notes one comment form the people at the quarry stood out to him.  "They talked about us being trendsetters.  We are the first school they ever had come through the quarry.  We are the first school that has had a chance to pick limestone for on their wall.  That whole trend setting thing was fabulous and there was real learning going on."