Cassville R-IV School District patrons couldn't have asked for a better tour guide on Sunday afternoon as Principal Jill LeCompte walked visitors through the new Cassville Intermediate School.
"This has been cool journey, and I think the building is awesome," said LeCompte in welcoming visitors to the facility's official dedication ceremony and open house.
LeCompte led the tour group through the new hallways and into many of the new classrooms. Each hallway in the new facility is dedicated to a different grade level. The third grade hallway is green, the fourth grade hallway is blue, and the fifth grade hallway, which is located on the building's lower level, is burgundy.
Every grade level has its own bathrooms and large storage room, and there are two extra classrooms in each hallway to accommodate growth in each of the grades. The facility also boasts a library that can hold two classrooms at one time, a state-of-the-art computer lab, a cafeteria and kitchen and a new playground with equipment picked out by a survey of the students.
Sunday afternoon's event attracted a limited number of patrons, but as School Board President John Sullivan explained, the intermediate school has been open since last March and a parents open house and Grandparents day event had already been held in the facility earlier in the school year.
"A lot of people have already had the opportunity to see this facility," said Sullivan. "Today marks another step where we've come from as a district . . . and we've come a long way.
"This intermediate building was a necessity; the school district needed it," Sullivan said. "We needed it for our kids to keep class size where we can manage it. This is a great building with a great faculty."
Superintendent Jim Orrell explained the project's time line, which began with district voters approving the project in April 2006. The bond issue approval came after the district appointed a Strategic Planning Committee to canvas patrons to discover what type of building plan they would support.
Dalton-Killinger was hired to serve as general contractor for the project, and ground was officially broken in the fall of 2006. The 55,314-square-foot facility took over a year to complete, and on March 1, 2008, the district moved teachers and students into the new school.
Water problems at the school forced some of the classrooms to move back to the original locations last spring, but the board tackled the problem and interior and exterior solutions were completed over the summer to fix the water issues.
Orrell thanked several local companies for their assistance with the project, including Couch Excavating, Barry Electric, Hutchens Construction and Barry County Ready Mix.
"This school now serves about 450 students in third through fifth grades, and it was built to handle growth at each of the grade levels," said Orrell. "This is a good time, an exciting time for Cassville R-IV."