DEL NORTE- After two years of planning and construction, the Upper Rio Grande School District school opened for business Jan. 9 with students attending classes in the new building. Construction crews will be finishing up the final touches on weekends and evenings when school is not in session. “We still have a long way to go but thanks to the dedication and work by all involved, we decided to welcome the students back after break in their new school,” said URGSD Board of Education President Neal Walters.
The building is a testament to the hard work and dedication that was put forward by FCI construction crews, school board members, students, staff and the entire community. “It was not without struggle, but we are finally nearing the end and we couldn’t be happier,” stated Walters. Besides some small mistakes, most of which are cosmetic, the school turned out exactly like it was planned, and the students were humming with excitement and anticipation.
While walking into the building, the first thing students and visitors will see is a large bronze statue of the school’s mascot tiger. The proud animal stands before the main entry doors on the west side of the building facing the road and old high school. “We didn’t spend much on the statue, but it was worth what we did spend, though most of us think he could stand to gain some weight,” laughed Walters.
Walking into the foray, the expanse of the school is apparent in the large and wide staircase to the east, a picturesque fireplace and seating area flanked by administrative offices on one side and the huge gym on the other. The floors gleam with brand-new shine and the entire area shouts “We are the tigers” in every way possible.
Vaulted ceilings with wide windows allow for natural lighting. Books, pictures and other school memorabilia line the walls of each wing that are separated by grades kindergarten through 12 and have their own unique ambiance. “We are very excited to be at this point and cannot express our gratitude to the school and community enough,” said Walters.
Teachers and staff spent the duration of Christmas break training to use the new equipment and security locks while moving into the new building. “We have state of the art technology and were able to add an additional security measure with the new programable locks that are on each and every door. If a door opens in this building without a security key, we will know about it,” said Walters.
The school will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, Jan. 16, at 2:30 p.m. and invites the community to come and tour the new school. Congratulations Upper Rio Grande School District!