The new cafeteria at Ida Burns Elementary School may have seen it's first "full house" this morning, as students, teachers, parents, school district staff and leaders, as well as members of the community filled it to near capacity for the building's dedication ceremony.
Ida Burns hosted the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting for their newly rebuilt school building, which was completed just in time for school this year.
The original Ida Burns building, built in 1957, was torn down this past summer to make room for the new two-story building and parking lot that now stands in it’s place. The new building houses state-of-the art classrooms with expansive cabinets and storage space for teachers, a new cafeteria with a stage, a new front office area and nurse’s station, and a safe room. The new building has also dramatically changed the landscape of Donaghey Avenue and improved traffic flow on the street tremendously.
Conway Public Schools' Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry introduced and thanked the school board, as well as everyone else who was part of the process of getting the school built.
"It took a lot of people doing a lot of things to make this happen," said Murry.
Murry recognized Assistant Superintendent Carroll BIshop, Eldon Bock, the architect from Witsell, Evans, and Rasco, as well as the contractors and crew from Nabholz Construction.
He thanked the Conway Public Schools' Maintenance Team, Technology Department and Purchasing Supervisor who worked all summer long to make sure everything was taken care of and ready for the students to start school on August 15th. He recognized the custodians and the cafeteria workers for all they have done and continue to do to make the building look beautiful and feel like home.
Speaking to the 400 students sitting in their new school home, Murry also acknowledged the Ida Burns teachers and staff.
"You are surrounded by a phenomenal group of teachers who care very much for you," said Murry." They worked hard to get their classrooms packed up last spring and then worked extra hard to get your classrooms ready to go for you in August. I’m so proud of them and what they do every day to make this a building where you are loved and you are cared for. Your Principal and Assistant Principal worked night and day to take care of all of the details so that when you came to school that first day it could be a smooth first day for you. I appreciate their leadership here at Ida Burns so very much and I know you do, too."
Then, Murry spoke directly to the students themselves.
"I want you, the students at Ida Burns, to know that we did every bit of this for you. Mr. Bishop, the school board, the architect, the builders, our school employees, your teachers, and your administrators did ALL of this just for you and only for you.
I hope that as you sit today in this beautiful cafeteria and then walk through those wide hallways to go to your wonderful classrooms that you will think: “All those people did this for me. I must be really important. And you are."
So, students – this building is dedicated today to you. It is dedicated to you and to all of the future students who will come to Ida Burns Elementary School," said Murry.
In addition to the Superintendent's remarks, Mayor Tab Townsell, an Ida Burns Alumnus, also spoke at this morning's dedication.
"I wish I could trade places with you and come back and go to this nice new school...especially go to recess today!" Townsell told the crowd.
The Ida Burns 4th grade choir performed a special song to conclude the event, then tours of the new school were given after a brief reception.
"Ida Burns has always been beautiful on the inside" said teacher Bonnie Mattox. "Now our outside matches our inside with our beautiful new building, and we are thankful."
Conway Public Schools News
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