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Published:September 23rd, 2008 21:03 EST
Students Break Ground for New School

Students Break Ground for New School

By Hedy Phillips

In two years, Orrville Elementary School will be standing on the ground that used to hold North Elementary School.  Future students officially broke ground for the building Thursday.


Six students, two each from kindergarten, first grade and second grade, donned hard hats with a red O on the side and dug up chunks of dirt with red shovels at the site of the future building on Mineral Springs Street while members of the city council, school board and the community watched.


Superintendent Jon Ritchie welcomed guests and said, We want to give our kids the finest learning environment in the state of Ohio  He said the community is going from having five school buildings to three, creating a campus atmosphere and improving the school system.


Greg Roadruck, president of the school board, dedicated the new building.  This is in honor of the children of Orrville,  he said, before passing it off to Mayor Dave Handwerk.


Handwerk, who is a former educator in the Orrville school system, shared his excitement for the new project.  Pointing behind him he asked, Won`t is be a neat sight to see another new building by the new middle school?  The $13 million Orrville Middle School was opened in early 2008.


You know you`ve been in a community a long time when you`ve seen a school built and disappear, said Jenni Reusser, president of the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce.  Regardless, she said it is the most exciting aspect of Orrville City Schools` history.


In each chamber meeting, Reusser said it is discussed how to make Orrville a community of choice.  Each time, the schools come out on top, because they see the importance and the potential.


The nearly $12 million elementary school will open for the 2010-2011 school year and will house kindergarten through fourth grades.  Located on Mineral Springs Street, it will be beside Orrville Middle School and across the street from Orrville High School.  The elementary school is phase 2 of the renovation process.  After its completion, it will be decided whether to renovate the high school or build anew. 


Despite some background construction noise, community members turned out to show support and excitement for the lone elementary school that will replace the three that used to be.


Time flies,  Handwerk said.  We`ll be in this building before you know it.