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WATCH: Sneak Peek of New Dominion MS Building

November 20, 2020 -- Dominion Middle School students are happy to be in their new school building -- well, virtually. The former Columbus North High School building is now home to the Dominion Polar Bears.

“This building is such a tremendous treasure in this community,” said Dorothy Flanagan, principal of Dominion Middle School. The history and legacy definitely leave large shoes for us to fill.”

The teachers and the staff here at the new Dominion Middle School are wasting no time filling it.

“I love that I got to come in and set up a classroom again and prepare,” said Sarah Prieb, Gifted Curriculum Specialist. “I was able to show the kids virtually the classroom, and there was a lot of excitement.”

Priebe says working from home during the pandemic has been stressful, especially when setting up a home office. Being back in her new classroom has been a joy, even if she’s enjoying it alone for the time being.

“It’s nice to get back into being in the building and seeing colleagues,” said Priebe.

Down the hall from Priebe is 7th-grade English language arts teacher Matthew Hysell’s classroom.

“Using technology and using the cell phones and using the Zoom technology, as we’ve been able to go and see things like the auditorium and the gym, and the cafeteria, the band room and all of the library all those places that the students are interested in seeing because all of us me and my kids are hoping to be back in here soon,” Hysell said.

While the building offers more space for students, new desks, and technology equipment, Hysell says it’s important to remember the past and the many memories at the former middle school building.

This desk represents 15 years of teaching at Dominion, with students' signatures of those he has taught over the last one-and-a-half decades.

“In the middle of a pandemic, to be able to leave comfort and to come in to hope is a pretty cool thing.”