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Niles students enjoying renovations at Ring Lardner Middle School

Ring Lardner Middle School// WSBT 22

Taxpayers in Niles are getting a chance to see what $40-million buys them. The money was spent on renovations at Niles schools.

The students at Ring Lardner Middle School are already enjoying the new facilities.

School started one week ago, and already students and staff say there is a new vibe.

All thanks to taxpayers voting to increase their own taxes.

"It smells new. It looks new. It feels new,” said Eighth Grade Teacher, Barbara Rice.

That smell is $7-million in renovations.

"Well the tables last year, they were falling apart and now they're stable,” said Eighth Grader, Tanyah Ellis.

New chairs and tables are complemented by new floors and an additional wing for sixth grade students.

"The magnitude of the problem was insane. We touched every classroom in this building, upgraded it with air conditioning, new flooring, new furniture,” said Principal Adam Burtsfield.

All the changes thanks to a vote back in May 2015 when voters agreed to raise their own taxes to make the renovations possible.

"Without the community's support, there was no way that this could have happened. Obviously voting to increase their taxes, they must have seen a real need here in the buildings,” Burtsfield said.

A brief ceremony was held to make sure students know exactly where the money came from. The changes have impressed them already.

"Wow, I didn't know it was going to look that good. I thought it was going to look good, but that good,” Ellis said.

Ring-Lardner's project cost $7-million out of the $40-million spent throughout the district.

A re-dedication of Howard-Ellis Elementary is scheduled for this Thursday.

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