The May 11 ceremony at Charles Hay World School sort of followed tradition as students joined adults making speeches and using shovels to symbolically break ground for the construction of the new school that will be built adjacent to the current school at 3195 S. Lafayette St.
About 100 people attended the event in a portion of the playground.
“I am constantly amazed by the heart and soul Englewood residents have for their schools,” Superintendent Wendy Rubin said. “All of us in the district take seriously the trust all you have in us to keep your children safe.”
She was followed to the podium by first-graders Talula Clanton and Abbi Garcia, who used some big words like ecstatic to describe the excitement of their fellow students about the construction of their new school. There speech was followed by comments by sixth-grader Riley Aitken who talked about how much the new school will mean to the students and the community.
Hay students then provided some special entertainment as they sang an up-tempo song that was accompanied by choreography.
When it was time for the ceremonial groundbreaking, members of the school board and two parents prepared to each turn a shovel full of dirt to signify breaking ground for the new school and each man and woman with a shovel was assisted by a Hay student.
Construction of the new Charles Hay school begins at the end of May as does construction of Clayton Elementary School. Construction of the two schools are phase one of the project to replace four elementary schools and the early childhood center made possible when voters in November 2016 approved the school district request to sell about $98 million in bonds for the project.
Crews will construct a 55,000-square-foot, two story buildings to accommodate about 500 students each at Hay and Clayton. The cost of construction of each school will be about $21.7 million. Plans are to complete construction in 11 months so the school will be ready for students in August 2018.
Next on the agenda is the start of construction of the early childhood center. It will be built on the site that used to house Maddox Elementary School. It will be a 35,000-square-foot building and will cost about $16.5 million. Plans are to start construction on the childhood center site at 700 W. Mansfield St. in December.
Construction of the other two elementary schools, Cherrelyn and Bishop, are scheduled to begin in May 2018. Plans are for those new buildings to be open in in August 2019.