The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Area IIII elementary school was held June 4 at 10 a.m. at 272 Archie Road, West End, directly behind West Pine Middle School.
Also present were representatives of the new school’s architectural firm LS3P Associate of Raleigh and representatives of the contracting firm, Edison-Foard, Inc., of Charlotte.
The West Pine Middle School seventh grade band played the National Anthem. West End Elementary third grade student Molly Niewald led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Pinehurst Elementary third grader Chazz Offord provided the inspiration.
The school is scheduled to open its doors for students in the fall of 2010. The student body will be drawn from both West End Elementary and Pinehurst Elementary. Both of these schools presently have students populations well beyond their capacity and, therefore, utilize several mobile units for classrooms.
Following remarks by Superintendent Dr. Susan Purser, School Board Chair Kathy Farren and Board of Commissioners member Larry Caddell provided remarks about the new school noting the excellent working relationship between the two Boards in working together to meet the needs of the school system. Also representing the County Commissioners was Tim Lea. In addition to Farren, other Board members who were present were Laura Lang, Pam Thompson, Dale Frye and Charles Lambert.
The highlight of the event was the official groundbreaking in which the two students assisted Board of Education members, County Commissioners, and Purser as they turned the first spade of dirt for the new school’s construction.
The new West Pine Elementary School is one of two new schools outlined in Phase I of the school district’s Facilities Master Plan. The approval of the $54 million bond referendum in the fall of 2007 provides funding for this school, as well as the new Crain’s Creek Middle School near Vass which began construction last October. The new middle school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, as well. In addition to these two schools, the bond referendum made additions and/or improvements to 12 existing schools possible.
The $8.2 million West Pine Elementary School will include 66,690 square feet and will initially house 500 students in grades K-5, although it is being constructed with a core capacity of 650 students to allow for future growth. The school will be located on a 25-acre tract of land adjacent to the West Pine Middle School property
The completion date for construction is July 5, 2010.