One School at a Time: Squires Middle School renovations continue

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:43 PM EDT
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CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (WNDU) - Squires Middle School used to be an elementary building in Cassopolis, but now it’s home to 6th, 7th and 8th graders. These kids happily head to class.

“Half of last year, I was doing virtual. I couldn’t do virtual. I just couldn’t do it,” said Jordin Heiman, 8th grader. " So, I came back and it was way better.”

“Last year I was online. I didn’t get to see anyone. And you know it got pretty lonely by myself in my home sitting in front of a computer,” said Dickson Samadder, 8th grader. “But here we can talk to each other. Have fun.”

It’s a familiar place for these kids. Squires used to be an elementary building.

“I was here in preschool. It was pretty different,” said Samadder.

“It has come a long way,” said Carey May, Principal. She, herself is Cassopolis graduate.

“To come full circle and come back is amazing,” said May.

May is thrilled they’ve converted the elementary into a middle school learning space.

“Although we still have some elementary components, we make it work for us. The buildings not perfect but it’s perfect for us for our 6th through 8th graders.”

This is their second year at Squires and they’re not quite done with renovations.

“We have all of our needs covered but we still have a lot of wants and that’s going to take time. But we will get there. Grants like this will definitely help us,” said May.

The Martins’ grant will create a gathering space for the 8th graders.

“This is our 8th grade commons area. So, this is like where we come when we first get here for our lockers. Put our bags in our lockers,” said Ayden Gillam, 8th garder.

It’s pretty bare right now.

“I think it would be cool if we had more seating. Because we don’t have any seats we just have tables. We don’t have anywhere where we can sit, we just stand,” said Heiman.

“Maybe a few little chairs like those comfortable arm chairs. Some sofas maybe. More tables. Because this is where the whole 8th grade hangs out and we can talk before class,” said Samadder.

Principal Carey agrees. She envisions comfortable furniture and outlets for computers.

“Just a nice common lounge area kind of like what you would see on a college campus,” said Carey.

Simply put, it will be a place where the kids can be together.

When asked what he loves most about school, Gillam replied, “Probably being able to see my friends and hang out with them throughout the day.”

If you would like to nominate your school for a One School at a Time grant, click here for the entry form:

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