Families, neighborhood celebrate opening of new York Elementary

Generations of York Elementary School families gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the opening of a new, state-of-the-art building.

Students cut the ribbon on the $21 million project, among the final projects funded by the expanded $168 million bond issue approved by voters in 2019.

It was not on the original slate of projects but the inaugural Community Task Force on Facilities — a group of citizens and volunteers that reviewed facility needs and recommended the size and scope of the 2019 bond to the school board — was clear that building a new York was the top priority if there were any leftover funds.

A ribbon-cutting was held Monday for the new York Elementary School, which is part of the 2019 bond issue.
A ribbon-cutting was held Monday for the new York Elementary School, which is part of the 2019 bond issue.

The original York building, constructed in 1911 on West Nichols Street, has long been the heart of its neighborhood. But, over the years, the condition of the building deteriorated. Many students walk and to and from school and play on the playground on the weekends.

At least 150 people attended the celebration, which started not long after dismissal Monday.

In a news release, York Principal Shondra Fetter said students and staff were excited to move in this month.

The $19 million project, a new York Elementary, officially opened Monday. Students and staff have been in the building since returning from spring break.
The $19 million project, a new York Elementary, officially opened Monday. Students and staff have been in the building since returning from spring break.

"This school was designed and built with York learners in mind, and in this new building, learning has already begun," said Fetter, in the release.

"Our teachers worked tirelessly over spring break to ensure that on students' first day in this new building, it was ready for them to learn. You'll be so impressed to see that this school looks like we've been here for years, and I'm so grateful to the York staff for their commitment to students and their learning, wherever they are."

In the four years since the bond issue passed, the district has constructed the new Adah Fulbright Early Childhood center, and rebuilt Boyd Elementary, Delaware Elementary and Williams Elementary.

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The district renovated and reconstructed Sunshine Elementary and Hillcrest High School. They added secure school entrances in other buildings and storm shelters.

At 4:30 p.m. Monday, the district will celebrate its final project of the bond issue: A new Jarrett Middle School. The celebration is scheduled on the new campus at 906 W. Portland Ave.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Families, neighborhood celebrate opening of new York Elementary