It was a day of thanks and excitement at Bayfield Elementary School.
Students there are anticipating the prospect of a new playground, library and cafeteria at their current school, as well as the construction of a new campus for third through fifth grades near Bayfield Middle School. Work started there earlier this spring. A groundbreaking for the renovation at the current school was held on Tuesday afternoon as students cheered when members of the student council started digging up dirt.
The entire project will cost almost $39 million. The district received a state grant for $8.5 million to help pay for the construction.
"Thank you, citizens of Bayfield," Brad Foutz told students, staff and town residents who gathered Tuesday for a groundbreaking. Foutz is one of the co-presidents of the student council.
BES students were encouraged to go home and thank their parents and neighbors for voting for the bond issue voters approved in 2016 to cover construction costs.
Principal Diane Sallinger told students they will be able to come and show the current school and the new facility to their own children and talk about the groundbreaking.
Planning on the project started about five years ago, Superintendent Troy Zabel said. This is one of his last actions as superintendent, as he is retiring at the end of June after battling brain cancer for the past year. Students gave him a standing ovation to thank him for his six years of service as superintendent.