A special fountain and other wonders of finished RPS construction

Sometimes it’s the little things. I was at Spring Creek School on Monday to talk with Principal Ray Owens about preparations for the school’s open house from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, to celebrate finished construction.

Spring Creek is one of six elementary schools to receive improvements. The school has a new, more secure entrance, a separate cafeteria and production kitchen and more resource rooms. And because the school’s great-looking addition can be seen from busy Spring Creek Road, it has high “curb appeal.”

The fountain on the left is designed to fill water bottles at Spring Creek School.

The fountain on the left is designed to fill water bottles at Spring Creek School.

Yet, that wasn’t what excited a student the first day he set foot in the finished addition, Principal Owens said.

The student spotted a fountain in the new cafeteria, one tailor-made to fill water bottles. Wide-eyed, he said to his principal,  “Mr. Owens, I finished my apple juice. Can I fill my bottle with water?” The answer was: Of course.

Ray Owens has one of those qualities common to principals: He is supremely organized. Not only does he pull off a morning meeting with 486 students (click here to read a Register Star story), he can choreograph a school event in two seconds flat, making it look as easy as breathing. I was taking notes Monday morning with my head down. When I looked up, Mr. Owens had the whole Jan. 21 open house planned on a legal sheet,  broken down in 15-minute increments. It was a thing of beauty — second only to the beautiful addition at Spring Creek.

You are cordially invited to all of our remaining Rockford Public Schools open houses to look at the finished construction (Johnson’s was already held last week):

Lathrop Elementary School: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15

Conklin Elementary School: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16

Spring Creek Elementary School: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21

McIntosh Elementary School: 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27

Froberg Elementary School: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator at the Rockford Public Schools. Next time she goes to Spring Creek, she’s going to bring her water bottle to refill. May I, Mr. Owens?