Ring of old bell opens new Edgemere Elementary Constructed on same site, $8 million school replaces a building from the 1920s

January 06, 1998|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

With the ring of a bell that dates to the opening of the original building, Diane Bogansky ushered in the new Edgemere Elementary School yesterday.

"Boys and girls, we're home!" Bogansky, a fourth-grade teacher who has been at the school for 32 years, gleefully shouted to a gymnasium full of students and teachers as she rang the bell from the 1920s.

The $8 million school at 7201 North Point Road replaces a building that by all accounts was falling apart.

The old building was torn down in 1996, and the new school was built in its place.

"It's good to be in a school that doesn't smell anymore," said fifth-grader Erik Browning, 10. "The old building smelled weird."

Classes began after a bustling winter break during which teachers, contractors and other staff rushed to set up classrooms and finish other critical work.

During construction, Edgemere's teachers and 391 students were based at Dundalk and Holabird middle schools.

Yesterday, students eagerly arrived at school early, many accompanied by parents and grandparents who wanted to catch a glimpse of the building.

"Ever since Christmas, I was really excited to come back to school," said Philip Watson, 10, a fifth-grader.

Sherrie Carter said the school was a frequent topic of vacation conversation for her son Christopher, 7, who is in the second grade.

"Every time we drove by, he got so excited to see it," Carter said. "He kept saying, 'Mom, I want to go to the new school.' "

Students entered the building through a 20-foot-high ring of blue-and-white balloons.

None knew the location of their classrooms, so they were led to the gymnasium to greet teachers and assemble with classes.

After Bogansky rang the bell, students marched off to their rooms. Almost all were excited, although a couple of kindergartners became tearful in the unfamiliar surroundings.

Within a few minutes of arriving in their classrooms, students quickly settled into their desks and lockers.

The lockers were new -- the old Edgemere Elementary didn't have lockers -- but the desks and chairs had a familiar feel.

On Dec. 23, school officials discovered that Edgemere's new desks and chairs were locked in a warehouse in Texas, forcing them to continue using the old ones.

The new desks are expected soon, and contractors will spend at least a month finishing construction in after-school hours.

For parents eager to see the school, it will be open for student-led tours until 7 p.m. today, said Principal Linda Stanton.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony with county educators and politicians is scheduled for Monday.

Pub Date: 1/06/98

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