Elementary students head to Camp Wilson for first day of school

Camp Wilson officially began on Thursday, but it’s not the traditional type of camp you may be thinking of.

Camp Wilson is actually the name of the temporary school Wilson Elementary students are attending this year inside of the old Jefferson Elementary building.

Since it will be their home for the entire school year, teachers and staff are doing everything they can to make it a smooth transition.

Change can be tough. Just ask the students and teachers at Wilson Elementary.

“It was a little hectic. Transportation has been crazy,” said Rod Burke, Teacher at Wilson Elementary.

“It’s been big,” said Kathleen Schmidt, Student at Wilson Elementary.

One of the bigger problems at Wilson Elementary is space.

“We have a great staff, and we’re fixing problems right now and doing the best we can,” said Burke.

“We have a much bigger playground. The kids are having a really good time and they’re enjoying the room they have here,” said Ken Hemanson, Principal at Wilson Elementary.

Once construction is complete that will no longer be the case. This year, they’re using the old Jefferson Elementary building as they undergo a multi-million dollar renovation.

“Year after year, we were having to send students overload to another school because we didn’t have enough classrooms to get all the kids who live in the neighborhood in the school,” said Hermanson.

Soon families who live in the heart of South Hill will always be able to enroll their kids at Wilson Elementary.

The re-modeling will include replacing two existing classrooms, adding six new classrooms, upgrading their kitchen, as well as expanding their gym.

“It was the cafeteria, the music room, and the band room. It was just everything,” said Schmidt.

So while change isn’t always easy, for these students, it’s worth the wait.

“To have our own space and have it be a school is a wonderful thing when you’re in transition,” said Hermanson.

Construction at Wilson Elementary is set to be complete by August 2020.