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December 18, 2013

Mark Twain renovates office space

DUNCAN — All Duncan elementary offices have been renovated to enhance safety and to improve the flow of people into each school.

The last elementary school to get its office renovated was Mark Twain Elementary. Because of the elementary’s office set up, Mark Twain is the only office without a door people have to enter first before being permitted to continue on through the rest of the school. People have to go through the office at Woodrow Wilson and Emerson, and have to check in with the office at Horace Mann and Plato before being buzzed in through another door.

To rectify this situation, Mark Twain’s entrance has been combined with a buzzer system. People wanting to enter the building have to press a button on the outside door, and someone in the office talks to the person through an intercom system by the door before buzzing them in.

Dana Jackson, an instruction coach for the school, said this is a big step toward safety for the school. Diane Ledford, the school’s secretary and financial clerk, said doors entering each of the school’s three buildings are also kept lock, allowing teachers to enter with keys.

“We’re very proud of our office,” Jackson said. “It improves our school.”

Aside from safety factors, the office renovation also address aesthetic items. The office space has been expanded to include room for Ledford to conduct her work, while creating a sitting area for visitors.

This was a similar approach taken when Woodrow Wilson renovated its office in the summer of 2010. Not only was office space redistributed, but a less cramped sitting area was created in the office.

In 2012, Plato, Horace Mann and Emerson reworked their offices, all complete with interior doors visitors have to be buzzed into before entering the rest of the school. The 2012 bond issue, which focuses on renovating the Duncan High School, is also working to address safety concerns by moving the office to the front entrance of the school and closing off some of the school campus to the outside.

Jackson said Mark Twain has done several things to improve the look of the school, including adding the first elementary electric marquis. She said the office space is aimed at creating a more inviting look to the school.

“We want people to feel welcomed,” she said. “It looks professional.”

Justice Craig, a member of the Mark Twain Student Council said she likes the renovation of the Mark Twain office.

“It looks bigger,” Craig said.

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Deral Knight of Rockport, Texas, won the Best In Show Award for his 1959 Chevy Corvette, which he first bought for his wife and then later restored to its current mint condition. Knight is a former Duncan resident.

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