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Greenville’s K-8 opens to lots of smiling faces
By Bob Robinson

First day of school at Greenville’s long-awaited Elementary and Middle School… grades 5-8 came in without a hitch. Lots of smiling faces.

Teachers and administrative staff, while concentrating on getting ready for the next “Wave,” were still smiling at their new ‘digs.’ Greenville’s K-4 students were due to arrive any minute…

Buses arrived – right on schedule – students started piling out… lots of smiling faces. “I love it,” said one. “It’s beautiful,” said another. “I want to live here,” said yet another. Lots of “Wow!” comments as students looked up and around. Most, but not all, had been there earlier in the week, but it still seemed to be a new and great experience for each.

The first day of school at Greenville Elementary and Middle School had begun. In a way it was kind of anti-climactic. In addition to three years of planning and construction, several weeks had gone into preparing the new building and its staff for Jan. 12, 2017.

Teachers, volunteers and administrative staff were on hand to make sure each student got to his or her class with a minimum of confusion. Both elementary and middle grades had taken tours to learn locations and routes to classrooms, but many still needed help.

Darke County Retired Teachers were given tours of specific areas so they could help direct students the first day of school. Greenville fire and police were on hand to provide direction and help where needed.

In August, Greenville Supt. Doug Fries and K-8 construction supervisors took me on a tour. The few cosmetics that had been completed were mostly in the 5-8 section. Earlier this year, however, Rhonda Schaar, Principal for 5-6, took me on a tour while finishing touches were finally being put into place. The change in just a few months was dramatic.

We stopped at the “cafetorium”… four serving lines and dozens of tables not yet in place… “We’ll be serving 1,700 students in two hours and 15 minutes,” she said. I volunteered in the lunchroom Friday. “Yup. They did it.”

Have there been glitches? Sure… bringing nine grades into one building when for decades they’d been in four buildings is not going to happen without them. They will be worked out. The transition, at least in my humble opinion, was done extremely well.

The first day of school (for us outsiders) wrapped up with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. A public tour of the new facility is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Feb. 26.

Fries thanked staff, volunteers for their efforts, and the community for its support. School Board President Fred Matix reiterated Fries’ comments, noting “none of this would have happened without the community.”

Photos on Community Events Photo Gallery: K-4 open house for parents and students, giving volunteers needed information for opening day, opening day and ribbon cutting. See photo set HERE

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