Cleaning up on campus

MARSHALL – It sounded a lot like a typical set of household chores: sweep the floors, vacuum the carpets, scrub the sinks, clean a few windows. But the setting made the tasks anything but typical.

The crew of local teens who had signed up for the work on Saturday morning were helping get the new Marshall Area Technology and Education Center ready for move-in. Some of the workers were MA-TEC students.

“We’re just making sure the school’s ready. It has to be cleaned out and inspected and all that,” said student Johnny Garcia. Garcia was wearing latex gloves as he scrubbed sink fixtures inside one of the bathrooms for the new campus. It will be exciting for students to attend class with new facilities and a lot more elbow room, he said.

During the past several weeks, space at the Marshall Call Center near West College Drive has been renovated into a campus for MA-TEC, formerly Marshall East Campus Learning Alternatives. While the renovations were pretty much finished on Saturday, there were still some final touches to take care of, like cleaning up the construction dust.

“It’s pretty nice. It’s new, and it’s something different,” Leeroy Rocha said of the new location, as he swept the floor of a room destined to become a new classroom or office. While the students helping with the cleanup Saturday were being paid for their efforts, Rocha said it was also nice to be able to help out with the move.

Students said MA-TEC faculty and staff are packed and ready to move from the old MECLA location in the Market Street Mall. The goal is to move into the new location by March, they said.

“The whole school’s already packed, or almost packed and ready,” said student Brandon Inguanzo.

Inguanzo and Garcia said one of the best parts about moving into MA-TEC’s new location will be the extra space. At the former MECLA location in the Market Street Mall, things could get cramped for students. The new campus, Garcia said, was “way better” on that count.

“Unless you get to know it, you can kinda get lost,” Inguanzo joked. But getting to know the layout of the new MA-TEC campus was a bonus of working with the cleaning crew, he said.

“Everyone took a tour” of the new location before the move, Garcia said. “But we’re gonna be the last people to see it before it’s a school, so that’s pretty cool.”