NEW BOSTON Ohio (WSAZ) -- A local community came together to dedicate their new school, replacing a 100-year-old school.
Back in 2008, a levy was passed in New Boston to build a new school. Ground was broken in April of last year and finally -- students are in their new building.
The new school is a major change compared to the previous school -- which was built a century ago.
A dedication ceremony was held Thursday afternoon in the new gym.
"We taught in the oldest school building, I did, I taught Oak Intermediate. Now I teach here. The classrooms are wonderful, it allows for more in depth teaching which is one of the new things we have to teach for the Governor. He really wants rigor in the classroom and this school building allows that because it adds technology," said teacher Beth Hannah.
The $20 million project puts all students, K-12, in the same school.
Tuesday, summer vacation ended for students in the district. But in about a month there will be another first day of school when students move out of their nearly 100-year-old buildings and into a brand new building.
The $20 million project will combine the primary, intermediate and high school.
Superintendent Mike Staggs says while moving in the middle of the year isn't ideal, everyone is ready.
"Even though our teachers packed up at the end of the year thinking we were going to start in here this year, they've got their boxes ready and as a pod gets ready we'll move their materials into the pod so it won't be as difficult as you think," said Staggs.
The school has a unique design where each section of the building is a pod for certain grade levels.
This design will reduce the mixing of older students with younger students.
An exact move in date has not been set but Skaggs expects to be in the new building by mid October.
In a soggy, but stand-out celebration, one school district stuck to its guns and finally can say their future is now.
Some said the New Boston Alma mater, "If Not Wetter," never sounded better for a groundbreaking ceremony two and a half years in the making.
After overwhelmingly passing a building levy in November 2008, the New Boston school district will finally begin to build a $20 million pre-K through 12 facilities.
Why the delay? The superintendent tells WSAZ.com his board would not give in when the Ohio School Facilities Commission demanded drastic plan changes.
“They wanted to change, structure, staffing, it was against Ohio law -- we refused,” Superintendent Mike Staggs said.
The new school replaces New Boston buildings built in 1917 and 1913. They're schools with crumbling classrooms, no air conditioning, no heat regulation and less than minimal technology infrastructure -- some of the worst teaching and learning conditions in the state.
“There are none like ours. We have classrooms with one outlet," Staggs said. "The question is, when all state testing comes by computer, what would we do?”
Chastity Hadsell attended ancient Stanton Elementary and now teaches first grade there -- but not for much longer.
“We were desperate. It's a joy to see the kid’s smiles -- they will reap the benefits,” Hadsell said.
Amanda McCallister has three young children in the New Boston school system -- kids she says finally have the chance to compete.
“I know other schools had a big edge in technology. This will be great,” McCallister said.
“This building will involve all in a new era of learning and creativity,” Staggs added.
So, every single one of the 450 school district students got a little groundbreaking shovel, because for all involved and invested in education here -- this is a collective big deal.
We’re told construction should begin as soon as the weather breaks, and the new New Boston school should open in about a year and a half.
The school system is replacing all of it's school buildings.
Tuesday a ground breaking ceremony was held at the New Boston Stadium.
All 450 New Boston Local students took part in the ground breaking and even got their own shovels to help dig in.
New Boston has struggled with some of the oldest school buildings in our region with problems like no air conditioning and not enough electrical outlets.
$20M from a levy that passed last year is going into building new facilities for all students, K-12.