As he waited for Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony to begin, Sherwood Elementary principal Jeremy Suchman explained what the addition of a multipurpose facility will do for the school.
"We can do everything on site now," he said.
No more need for Sherwood to conduct its graduations or parent nights at other schools. No more need to conduct assemblies by grade level in the cafeteria. No more need to conduct physical education in a classroom when it rains.
The $1.8 million project also comprises: a new driveway to alleviate traffic problems; new, energy-efficient windows in the back to match the front; and four additional classrooms, three for the fourth grade and one for counseling, giving the 58-year-old school a total of 35 classrooms for its growing enrollment, Suchman said. Sherwood finished last school year with about 475 students and is expected to open this year with about 575, said superintendent Randy Wilkes.
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So the expansion means, he said, "the neighborhood kid doesn't have to transfer to another school."
The project's architect was McKee and Associates of Montgomery; the general contract was Gordy Construction Co. of Fortson.
"We think that as you walk the halls and as you sit in this nice, air-conditioned multipurpose facility today, you will see that they all have done a very good job," Wilkes told the approximately 40 folks witnessing the ceremony.
Brad Baker, president of the Phenix City Board of Education, attended Sherwood in the 1970s.
"It's exciting to see us grow," he said after the ceremony. "It's always been a great school in a great area, and I'm glad to see it continuing on."