The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 28 for the new Southern Pines Elementary school was well attended despite the new coronavirus pandemic.
Existing and past education administrators, instructors and children of the staff were joined by local community leaders and representatives for the ceremony.
State-mandated guidelines for proper preventative measures during the pandemic were practiced.
Spectators filled the parking lot up to the front door to witness the event and applauded the children of the staff after they recited the “very first Pledge of Allegiance” under the new school’s flag.
The new school will combine Southern Pines Primary K-2 and Southern Pines Elementary grades 3-5 and will conduct the first day of classes on Jan. 5, 2021.
The design team SfL+a Architectural Engineering and Monteith Construction presented the building as complete to the Town of Southern Pines.
The color scheme of the new school incorporates the blue from Carolina Blue skies onto accent walls, and deep purple from the school’s theme color onto the floors in accent tiles and is painted around some windows. The high ceilings and bright natural light project the high goals for students in the new school.
Fourth grade teacher Paula Painter, fifth grade teacher Pam Moore, counselor Stacy Rodgers, first grade teacher assistant Helen Cole, reading intervention instructor Christine Leo and media specialist Heather Lewis took a short break in the media center’s children’s chairs.
The six instructors and staff in the media center repeatedly said the new school was “a great environment for learning” and “unbelievable.”
Principal Tonya Wagner has invested many hours and enlisted family help to assist the project and thanked everyone.
“It’s a safe, completely enclosed environment, and it’s beautiful – state-of-the-art,” Wagner said.
The elementary school has the usual cafeteria and gym, plus a robotics room, a project room, an art room and an amphitheater.
“They (architects) used the slope of the land – a beautiful piece,” Wagner said. “It’s where I’ll be spending a lot of time.”
The Union Pines band played “America the Beautiful” and other favorites in the amphitheater for spectators.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a tour was offered for attendees.
The children of the staff received the first tour of the new facility.
Feature photo: Dr. Bob Grimesey and principal Tonya Wagner share the giant scissors for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Article, photos, and videos by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.