Chants of "cut it!" echoed off the gymnasium walls in the new Eureka Elementary School
on Wednesday, as a group of students, Rockwood School District and City of Eureka officials and the construction team that worked on the school took their turns with the ceremonial scissors up on the stage.
And cut, they did, slicing through the purple ribbon as streamers shot off around them and members of the Rockwood community helped celebrate the new elementary school at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"For 66 years, Eureka Elementary has created some great memories and has helped inspire dreams in the minds of thousands of students. During that time, our first school building served us well," Principal Lynn White told the crowd. "Today's ribbon-cutting ceremony - and the start of the school year in this building - is a culmination of the hard work of many people."
The 108,000-square-foot facility was under construction for nearly 17 months before welcoming students for the start of school Aug. 12. The funds for the new school were provided by a 2017 bond issue, and Rockwood Board of Education President Loralee Mondl thanked Rockwood citizens for their support in passing the measure.
The Eureka Boy Scouts presented the colors, and the Eureka Special Chorus helped lead the audience in a singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the beginning of the program and the Eureka Elementary school song at the end.
Fifth-graders Keanna and Emmah also expressed their excitement about their new educational home.
"The first time I walked into our new building, I was wowed!" Keanna said. "This school is huge and so cool. I know the kids will have a lot of fun in this school."
Emmah presented a stone that last year's class of fifth-graders commissioned to go with a tree that will be planted on campus this fall to commemorate the opening of the school.
"This building is a big change for us and our school," Emmah said. "New opportunities can come for us since we can learn in new ways."
Guests were treated to refreshments and school tours after the ceremony.
"Eureka Elementary is an incredible school and will serve students for years to come," Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles said.