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A ribbon is cut for Coupeville High

Voters had a chance to see what $22.8 million worth of public money looks like.

Plenty of residents took the Coupeville School District up on an offer to attend a ribbon cutting and tour of the new high school Wednesday evening.

The new school gives the district a badly-needed upgrade that makes a better learning environment for students. As compared to the old, demolished building, the new school has wider hallways, bigger classrooms, study spaces and a new career technical center.

High School Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance thanked all of the people involved in the planning, design, funding and construction of the new building. He also thanked the students who had to endure the move and all the hiccups that come when a new school opens.

“We built a great facility for a great bunch of kids,” Rosenkrance said.

Board president Kathleen Anderson described the four years it took to get from the first planning committee to the opening this fall. She said she was grateful for the little things — like the fact that the new school doesn’t have the broken restrooms and leaky roofs that the old school had.

“It doesn’t have all of the things we were battling,” Anderson said.

Construction manager Gary Goltz said Coupeville High School was the 19th one he had built, but this one was different because of where it was located.

“I’ve never built a school in a town I’ve lived in before,” Goltz said.

The event started with the traditional ribbon cutting in front of the school’s main entrance. Following that, people walked inside the school, flanked by enthusiastic cheerleaders. The new mascots, Sir William and Lady Winifred, made an appearance at the ribbon cutting.

People then got to examine the new building by taking a self-guided tour. In all, residents seemed thrilled with the new school.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Dave Engle who graduated from Coupeville High School in 1956. He said the new building has a great feeling about it. He added that he is happy he has family that love attending the new school.

“I’m glad my grandkids love it,” Engle said.

Donna Bailey toured the new high school with her husband and daughters.

“So far I think it’s pretty cool,” Bailey said and noted the classrooms are a lot bigger than the ones in the old school. She graduated from high school in 1992. She said even then the school was showing signs of its age. The water fountains didn’t even work.

The old high school was demolished over the summer. Even though the school is gone, parts of it are still visible. Bricks from the old building were sold to residents. Their names were engraved on the bricks and they were placed in the walkway in the front of the school. Before the ribbon cutting, people were busy pointing out their bricks to friends and family.

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