New Boston ceremony dedicates new school

December 13, 2012

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

NEW BOSTON — It was a day that was too long coming, but no less exciting for the New Boston School District Thursday at their public dedication of the new school. The building is the first new school in the school district in nearly 100 years.

The district passed a local levy to build new schools in 2008 and broke ground in April 2011. Originally expecting to open in June, the new school — located on Lakeview Avenue and the newly created Glenwood Tiger Trail behind the New Boston Stadium — opened to students on Nov. 19 after a series of construction delays and setbacks.

Speaking to students, Superintendent Mike Staggs likened their journey to a fairy tale. A small village of hard-working, good-hearted villagers who wanted to build a new school house. He told the story of how the villagers asked the King to help them build a school house and the King agreed. And everything was going well, Staggs said, until the King sent a mean, new Chief Deputy to work with the tiny village. That’s when things got complicated, he said.

Cutting the story short, Staggs went on to thank the architect, contractor, village council, residents, teachers and students. He called architect Dennis Paben inexperienced, but extremely innovative and energetic and said Paben brought some exciting new ideas to the school.

Paben said there are things found in New Boston School that can’t be found anywhere else in the state of Ohio. Struggling to fight back tears, like a father finally looking upon the face of his child, Paben said this was the most difficult project he had worked on but is also his proudest.

“Like we said in our bond issue campaign (in 2008), this is once every other lifetime. It’s been 100 years this spring,” Staggs said.

The contents of former schools, Stanton and Oak, will be sold in a public auction on Jan. 1, and those buildings will be demolished in early-2013. The former Glenwood High School building will remain standing, and will be occupied by the South Central Ohio Educational Services Center.

Elementary Principal Diane Chamberlin called it bittersweet, saying goodbye to those buildings and that part of New Boston’s history. But said she also knows it will make room for another chapter in their fairy tale story.

The students appeared eager for their chapter to begin on Thursday. Wearing yellow plastic construction hats in celebration of their new school, students cheered and clapped excitedly for their new school.

And as for the villagers — Staggs said they all lived happily ever after.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@heartlandpublications.com.