Students attend classes in former grocery store

Kim MacFeggan's kindergarten classroom isn't exactly what she imagined when she was hired by the Shelby County School District.  MacFeggan's classroom is in what used to be the dairy section of a Schnucks grocery store.

"When I walked in the first day, I couldn't believe how nice the transformation went," she said Tuesday.

When the School Board was debating turning the grocery store into a school, it was a controversial decision.  Many parents didn't want their kids sharing a parking lot with the Schnucks gas station, which still sells beer and cigarettes.

There were also concerns about the location's lack of walls for classrooms. 
"We were concerned about the volume of the noise," MacFeggan said. "But really, once you're in your classroom, you kinda tune out everything else. You don't really hear the noise."

The new location is taking a load off of the overcrowded Highland Oaks Elementary, which was more than 500 students over capacity last year.  The new school building removes many students from portable classrooms and into smaller classes.

"That's good for me," said parent Carl Kones. "That way I know my child is getting attention she's needing from her teacher."
The final price tag was about $771,000, to turn what used to be aisles into learning pods, a bakery into a cafeteria, and a store into a school.