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New year, new schools for Mont. Co. students

Wednesday - 1/4/2012, 2:59pm  ET

Kate Ryan, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Kids at three Montgomery County schools got one more day off before heading back to class thanks to the newly renovated school facilities.

At Garrett Park Elementary School, the students walked into a gleaming new building upgraded from top to bottom.

Principal Elaine Chang-Baxter talked about the "blood, sweat and tears" that went into construction, and joked that she "birthed" the new building. With the smell of fresh paint in the air, she beamed over every little detail, "even electrical outlets and tack boards.

"I'm excited about all of them," she said.

The modernization at Garrett Park expands the building by 83,488 square feet and James Song, director of facilities for Montgomery County Schools, says that meant getting rid of portable classrooms.

"Garrett Park had close to eight or 10 portable classrooms," he said. "You don't see portable classrooms now."

Two other schools also reopened Wednesday: Seven Locks Elementary in Bethesda and Cannon Road in Silver Spring. Three other schools -- Bradley Hills Elementary in Bethesda, Glenallen Elementary and Weller Road Elementary in Silver Spring -- are undergoing modernizations and additions now. The work on those schools should be completed by August 2012.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)