One year after construction began, the new Grant Wood Elementary School is ready to open in Bettendorf. Tuesday afternoon, students, parents, teachers, and district officials celebrated with a ribbon cutting.
The new school was built next to the old, nearly 60 year old school, which has been demolished for parking and green space.
Principal John Cain thanked the community, parents, neighbors, and contractors.
"As I reflected, I could think of a few words to describe how I'm feeling and how I know the staff is feeling : delighted, pleased, joyful, content, and happy. Welcome to our, the community's, grand opening of Grant Wood."
Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher attended Grant Wood in 4th and 5th grade.
"We here at the city understand that healthy communities need great school districts. And we know that economic development comes most of the time, at the hands of great schools."
And to the many children, eager to see their new school, Cain reminded them it's not quite finished.
"Kids, especially if you're in 5th grade or younger, you're probably going to hear us say this quite a bit. I'm going to say it today just as your first remindder - stay out of the mud - there's lots of it."
The new 13.7 million dollar Grant Wood will have three sections for each grade, compared to two in the old building. Classrooms and the gym will also be larger, and overall, the new school will have nearly twice the space.