As the new Cherrelyn Elementary School prepares to open, Englewood Schools Superintendent Wendy Rubin says the appreciation of Cherrelyn runs deep in the community. The K-6 elementary school has been …
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As the new Cherrelyn Elementary School prepares to open, Englewood Schools Superintendent Wendy Rubin says the appreciation of Cherrelyn runs deep in the community.
The K-6 elementary school has been part of Englewood since 1948. Generations of Englewood families went to school in the old building at 4500 S. Lincoln St., where its replacement now awaits its first students.
“In some ways, it's another home on the block. It wasn't separated from the homes,” Rubin said. “I think that meant something to folks.”
But most voters agreed with the assessment that the old school was in need of replacement to satisfy the education needs of Cherrelyn's 230 students.
With funds used from when Englewood School District voters passed a $97.5 million bond in 2016 to fund the replacement of the district's four elementary schools and its preschool, Cherrelyn Elementary was able to get a new building. The school will celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by an open house on Aug. 9 at 4 p.m.
“When you open a new building, it's exciting and reinvigorating. The school is just a physical space,” said Cherrelyn Elementary Principal Rebecca Orsund. “What we're doing at the school is important. Our school has such a rich history of meeting the needs of each individual student.”
The new 41,660-square-foot building cost more than $19 million. It holds 12 classrooms and STEM, maker, gym, art, music and special-education suites.
Following meetings with citizens, Rubin said it became apparent the community wanted to incorporate pieces of the former school in the building's designs. Old bricks from the former Cherrelyn Elementary are part of the school as well as its old red locker doors, which are hung up on the school's wall.
School officials wanted to capture the essence of the idea of home and community for the new school building. It has a front porch area and other elements that speak to the idea of home.
Greg Bennett, a former Cherrelyn Elementary student who attended the school in the late 1950s, is an owner of the Englewood Tavern. He has a banner in his business that used to hang above the entrance of the old school building.
"You always hate to see old things go down, but they’re building things are for the future. It's a great idea what they did with all the schools around here," said Bennett.
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