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Elementary school additions celebrated / February 12, 2014

Chase City and La Crosse Elementary Schools celebrated new building additions with ribbon cutting ceremonies this past week.

Students at Chase City Elementary staged an expo that coincided with the ribbon cutting to showcase their work and the new classrooms.

The public was invited to tour the facilities and share in the excitement expressed by students and teachers who no longer attend classes in dilapidated trailers. La Crosse principal Michelle Powell called it “a blessing for the students to not have to put on hats and coats and mittens to come to lunch.”

Similarly, Fred Taylor, principal at Chase City Elementary said, “I’m very glad to get the additions, get the kids out of the weather and have everything under one roof.”

Even more impressive to both principals was the palpable excitement they noticed among students and staff.

Upon seeing the new music room at La Crosse Elementary school, one third grader exclaimed, “I feel like I’m in heaven. It’s all white and clean,” Trish Barton, the music teacher at La Crosse Elementary, said.

At La Crosse, superintendent of schools James Thornton, thanked the Board of Supervisors for a “very good decision” to spend money on elementary school additions that made “a safer environment for our students.”

Expressing hope that the supervisors would free up additional funds to repaint the halls and classrooms of older portions of the elementary schools, as well as install new ceiling tiles, redo kitchens and upgrade heating and cooling systems, Thornton said, “Our students deserve the very best. We have the resources.”

He closed his remarks calling for the community to “stand up for our children and teachers. It’s hard to teach in an environment built in the 1950s.”

Several members of Chase City’s Town Council who came to the ribbon cutting expressed their pleasure with the work done at the local elementary school. Councilman Marshall Whitaker summed it up by saying he never remembered seeing teachers “this excited” about their school, and was glad to see something good come to the town.

Clarksville Elementary is the third school to receive a new addition. Due to bad weather the last two weeks, its ribbon cutting ceremony was rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. — although the schedule is in question with a new winter storm forecast for today.

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