After touring the new Eureka Elementary School
, fifth-grader Daniel McDonald had a two-word reaction to his new educational home.
"We've got a lot more room, which is all I wanted," Daniel said, standing in the room of Holly Conroy, his teacher for the upcoming school year. "And I like the new playground."
McDonald and his second-grader sister, Maci, are two of the more than 400 students who were introduced to the new Eureka Elementary on Meet the Teacher night Thursday. After nearly 17 months of construction
, Rockwood School District's first new facility in 15 years was ready for its close-up.
And Principal Lynn White said she heard rave reviews from parents and students alike.
" 'It's huge.' 'It's amazing.' 'I can't believe this is our school,'" White said, quoting attendees. "They're just really blown away by how beautiful it is."
Excited students rushed through the hallways of the new building, getting to know their teachers, reconnecting with old friends, snacking on ice cream sandwiches in the cafeteria, posing for pictures in front of purple-and-gold backdrops and, of course, heading outside to check out that playground.
Maci, donning a unicorn horn on her forehead, enjoyed the chance to meet her new teacher, Wendy Winegardner.
"She's nice," Maci said. "I like the classrooms. They're big and colorful."
Everyone seemed energized for the first day of school Monday.
"I just feel so much pride in our community," White said. "Everyone put so much effort into it: the bond issue, all the planning and all the work that went into it. I heard so many people say they were so thankful, so blessed, so proud. It's great."