It was the first time in more than 50 years the Springfield Local Schools dedicated a new school building.
The dedication of the new junior high/high school building on Canton Road took place Jan. 4 in the auditorium of the new facility.
Superintendent William Stauffer noted that the following day would mark four years since the community first met to discuss the idea of a new school.
"It was a cold, snowy evening, and we talked about the possibility of a new junior high and high school for the students of Springfield," Stauffer said.
After 126 weekly construction meetings, many ups and downs and a few more gray hairs, Stauffer said the dream has become a reality.
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, a 1984 Springfield graduate, spoke to those attending the event and helped to cut the ribbon.
"As a product of Springfield Local Schools, I'm proud to be a Spartan. That is why this school means a lot to me, as I know it does to the community," Taylor said.jgiampietro 1/8/14 "This is precisely the kind of collaboration Gov. (John) Kasich and I support at the local level when it comes to providing the best possible education for our students in order to prepare them for the careers of tomorrow."
Taylor said the dedication of the amazing new facility is unique "because of the involvement between parents, students, teachers and the community to design and plan such a great school."
Several students led attendees in the pledge of allegiance, and the Spartanaires singing group performed. Members of the Springfield Board of Education and other local dignitaries took part in the official ribbon-cutting.
TAKING THE TOUR
A reception was held in the new cafeteria, followed by a tour of the building for more than 1,000 attendees.
During the tour, several individuals noted the "new-school smell" of the facility,
Springfield resident Karla Shackelford said the building exceeded expectations.
"It is just beautiful, and I am so excited. It was a top-notch ceremony. Mr. Stauffer has been very dedicated to this school system," Shackleford said.
Roosevelt Elementary teacher Dana Floyd said she was in awe.
"It is absolutely gorgeous. I would need a map to figure out where to go," Floyd said.
Floyd's son, Collin, is a junior at Springfield.
Scott Adkins, a 1977 graduate of Springfield High School, came from Louisville to check out the new school. "I think it is great that they are getting a new facility and that it has all the modern technology," Adkins said. "This is where I grew up, and I spent a lot of time here," said Adkins. "I wanted to see what it looked like."
Principal Cynthia Frola said those touring the school were impressed and appreciative. "I saw a lot of the community here. I was surprised at the number of nonschool-related people that were here."
Page 2 of 2 - She admitted there was some sadness in cleaning out her office at the old school after more than 16 years, but Frola looks forward to creating memories in the new building. Technology Director Dustin Boswell said the process of setting up the building's technology has gone very well. Boswell said the dedication ceremony was streaming live throughout the school.
Stauffer thanked the communities of Lakemore and Springfield on behalf of the board of education, administrative team, teaching and support staffs, students and himself for making it all possible. He said the trustees and board members made it "their mission to move the community forward in a positive direction."jgiampietro 1/8/14 Stauffer also thanked John Frola and the advisory committee, which was made up of parents, teachers, clergy, senior citizens, politicians, students, former students, businessmen and others. The committee has been honored with a dedication plaque in the event entrance vestibule.
The 175,000-square-foot complex was designed to keep the junior high school students separated from the high school students as much as possible. The cafeteria and auditorium are shared spaces but will be used at separate times by students. Academics will take place in separate wings of the building.
Stauffer recalled a time when many people in Summit County doubted whether or not the district could get something like this accomplished.
"Those doubters didn't understand this community, and they didn't understand Spartan pride," Stauffer said.