A Hodgesville Elementary School student, Kimbree, helped to celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening at the school Friday, along with BOE members, Upshur County Commissioners and superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus. The new school addition includes a pre-k classroom, a safe school entry, a new office suite, a sprinkler system and HVAC improvements.

Welcome home, Hodgesville students! HES celebrates new addition to elementary school

HODGESVILLE – A Hodgesville Elementary School student named Kimbree had the honor of cutting the ribbon for her school’s grand opening Friday.

The official opening of the much-anticipated addition includes a pre-K classroom, a safe school entry, a new office suite, a sprinkler system, security system, intercom system and HVAC improvements.

Kimbree said she was honored to be selected at random to cut the ribbon and said that it was fun and exciting.

“I am so glad we have a new school,” Kimbree said.

The funding for the project was provided through a West Virginia School Building Authority Needs Grant which totaled $2,208,389, and there were no matching funds provided by the Upshur County School System. The grant was approved during the W.Va. SBA during its December 2018 meeting and the Upshur County BOE awarded the contract for work to Huffman Contracting in June 2019.

Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus welcomed students, teachers, faculty, administration, parents, community members and members of the BOE to the celebration.

“We are just really excited this day,” Stankus said. “We have a new addition to our school, and this is such an important day to the Hodgesville community and the families here. We know schools are more than brick and mortar – they are the community, the families, the students, the teachers, the grandparents and all the people who come each and every day to help you learn.”

Stankus said one of the big pluses of the addition is that four-year-old students who used to be transported to other places now can join their neighbors at Hodgesville Elementary School, thanks to the addition of a new pre-K classroom.

“We opened our school and our architect, Ted Shriver, asked me if I was sure we could open the school and have students in school and build the school at the same time,” Stankus said. “We all said yes, we want to build our school and we can bring our students here. And guess what? Before the school opened, the families came to clean the school and the classrooms to make sure we were ready.”

The Hodgesville Elementary School fifth-grade choir performs three songs during the celebration of the school’s new addition on Friday.

Stankus said she could not thank those volunteers enough for all they have done.

Janet Phillips, Hodgesville Elementary School Principal, said she is thankful for those attending the Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening, or as the students call it ‘String Day.’

“We are excited to share this with you,” Phillips said. “Hodgesville and Upshur County is very fortunate to have the support of the SBA and the Upshur County Board of Education. Thanks to Dr. Stankus, Dr. Harrison and the BOE for seeing the need at Hodgesville Elementary and seeking the funding.”

Past Hodgesville student Hailey Butcher, a freshman at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, created winter scenes in the school.

Hodgesville’s fifth-grade choir performed songs and current Hodgesville student leader Devon Hayes spoke to those gathered.

“The new addition is not only helping with efficiency, it is stylish,” he said. “It is safer and has more room and now Mrs. Phillips has an office. Thanks for making this possible.”

Devon Hayes, fifth-grade student and student leader at Hodgesville Elementary School, thanks those gathered for the school addition during the ribbon cutting and grand opening at the school Friday.

Following the ceremony and ribbon cutting, students received cupcakes provided by Huffman Contracting. HES Student Leaders conducted tours of the addition, the safe school entry and the office suite.

Hodgesville Elementary School was built in 1967 and in 1986 received an addition comprised of a gym and two new classrooms.

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