New Bedford County school brings learning into future

Bedford County Middle School is now Liberty Middle School

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. - The old Bedford County Middle School has officially become Liberty Middle School.

School starts on Monday for students in Bedford County. 

Theresa Gilluim is an eighth-grade English teacher at the new Liberty Middle School. 

"I am super excited about all the space we have because my students will not just be sitting inside this classroom every day. We are going out in the learning areas and the courtyard, up on the terrace, anywhere I can put them," said Gilluim. 

Teachers are also excited for the nearly 600 students who will walk into a new high-tech building.

Students will have a media center where they can film projects and produce student news.

They can sit at nontraditional desks in the classroom and have the option of standing, as well as using outside classrooms.

Principal Shawn Trosper hopes this helps motivate students to learn.

"The whole idea is you can learn anywhere and just like you and I might work from our couch and our laptop, that's what we want our students to do," said Trosper.

One of the priorities for school officials when constructing the more than $30 million building was security. 

"Only way into this building is through the main entrance. All doors will be locked at all times," said Trosper. 

According to Trosper, there is a school resource officer on duty at all times.

The chief operations officer said first responders have already taken a tour of the school and are familiar with the layout.

Bedford County firefighters were able to walk the halls last month. 

"We have worked closely with law enforcement, first responders so that they are able to know the building and know how to respond in the building," said Mac Duis, chief operations officer.

As teachers prepare for their first week of lessons, they say non-traditional is the new way of learning. 

"I am going to be doing everything differently because, to me, it just didn't make a lot of sense to have this wonderful, brand-new high-tech school and then teach the old way," said Gillium. 

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