Rockwood School District officials and members of Eureka's Geggie Elementary School community gathered Feb. 7 for a ribbon-cutting for the school's new eight-classroom addition.
Principal Dr. Mary Kleekamp welcomed the dozens of people who attended.
"For 53 years Geggie has created great memories and has helped inspire dreams in the minds of thousands of students," said Dr. Kleekamp. "Through the years, continued growth and support of Rockwood voters allowed for numerous updates and expansion through our building. With this latest addition, Geggie proudly supports 30 classrooms and provides additional quality spaces for physical education classes, art, music, library, strings, reading, STEM and Special School District."
Construction on the new classroom addition wrapped up in December. Students and staff began using the new facility after winter break.
Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost said, "These are improvements to the Geggie campus that are long overdue and much needed to accommodate our growing populations."
Student representative Alexandra Bruns explained to the crowd what Geggie means to her.
Bruns, a fifth-grader who addressed the crowd, said, "I started here when I was five years old. Back then this school seemed massive. Now, it's almost doubling in size. Geggie, to me, means friendship, courage, bravery, kindness, and my absolute favorite – hope."
Rockwood School District taxpayers authorized the addition at Geggie in a 2017 bond issue. Rockwood Facilities Director Chris Freund said construction on the classroom addition finished ahead of schedule.
"Our target was to be finished by winter break," said Freund. "Construction crews actually gave us a two or three-week cushion. The new wing created a positive domino effect. Multiple areas in the building shifted to other areas. The extra time was definitely helpful."
The additions at Geggie include a new 3,500-square-foot media center/library, which crews opened last semester.
"On Sept. 24 we officially opened the new school library," said Geggie Library Media Specialist Kristina Presley. "Upon entering for the first time, students were excited and amazed. Every grade level was eager to search for books and cozy up to read on our new furniture. The new space is helping our kids fall in love with reading."