Source of pride for West EndBy Stephen Dawkins Published 9:31am Monday, September 13, 2010
Efforts to renovate the old E.M. Henry School, which houses Clanton’s Head Start program, is a worthwhile project—for the Head Start children and for many other people.
The main aspect of the renovation is the replacement of old fold-out windows with up-to-date windows. The old windows housed air conditioning units and let in a draft. Now, the school has central heating and air.
Also, a covered walkway has been constructed in front of the school, allowing students and teachers to walk from their classroom to the lunchroom or other parts of the school without worrying about whether it’s raining outside.
Clanton’s Head Start program serves about 40 children from low-income families, teaching them valuable social skills before they start school.
Because of the new windows and the installation of central heating and air, the school’s lunchroom can now serve as a viable space for a community center, which is one of the reasons the school improvements are important to the entire West End community, not just those with children attending Head Start.
The school, which is synonymous with West End, had been allowed to deteriorate into an unacceptable condition. The renovations send a message that Clanton city leaders are concerned about West End.
There has been other recent work in the area, including a large-scale sewer project and improvements to E.M. Henry/West End Park, the home of a growing youth sports program.
Things are looking up in West End, and that’s good news for all of Clanton.