CLEARFIELD -- The oldest school building in Davis School District will soon give way to the newest school building.
Wasatch Elementary School was built in 1946. The stairs that students once climbed to enter the front doors will be torn down after the doors to the new building, being constructed next door, open in August 2012.
And that won't be one day too soon for the teachers and staff who work with the estimated 340 students.
"This school looks just like my elementary school," said Principal Janet Sumner, who was born in 1946, the same year Wasatch was built.
"It has that comfortable feeling that old schools have, and the memories."
The new building will offer opportunities for the staff, students and community to create more memories, Sumner said.
The new building will feature more windows and lights and will be accessible for those with disabilities.
The current building is not fully accessible to those with disabilities and has flaws, although endearing, that make some days difficult, Sumner said.
One of the biggest problems is the air-conditioning and heating systems. The air conditioning doesn't work in all areas of the building, and the heating system does not heat every room.
Sharon Price, 68, is a tutor at the school and also was a student at Wasatch Elementary.
She grew up four blocks from the school and remembers when students were allowed to play dodgeball and hit tennis balls against the back wall. "There was also one of those old huge slides every school had, plus a merry-go-round."
The new school's playground will be shared with the city.
The building will feature a community center housed inside, instead of in a portable, Sumner said.
The school's student population is diverse, and many students come from lower-income families who need help just to meet their students' basic needs, she said.
Sumner said the new school will still offer free breakfasts to its students, as well as "a new, clean feeling when students walk in."
Wasatch Elementary School
• LOCATION: 270 E. Center St., Clearfield
• COST: Budget for the new school is $11 million
• HISTORY: The original building, being used during the 2011-12 school year, was constructed in 1946; the new building will open its doors for students in August 2012.
• SIZE: The new building will be 78,000 square feet, which includes a 12,500-square-foot community center on the main level.
• STUDENT BODY: Estimated at 340
• STAFF: 60, including teachers and support staff
• TIDBIT: Nolan K. Bushnell, founder of Atari Inc. and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theatres, attended Wasatch Elementary in the early 1950s.