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Students take part in the groundbreaking of new Eureka Elementary School

By: Jessica Meszaros

Rockwood students participate in the groundbreaking of the new Eureka Elementary School, located in the Arbors of Rockwood subdivision. One student from each class used a shovel designed and created by students from each class.

On April 11, over 350 students took a morning trip to a 13.5-acre patch of land located at Rockwood Arbor Drive and east of Six Flags St. Louis, to participate in the official groundbreaking of the Rockwood School District’s new Eureka Elementary.

The entire student body at the current Eureka Elementary participated in the event and also designed and painted 19 unique and custom shovels for the groundbreaking event. The shovels also will hang as art in the new school. A student randomly selected from each of the 19 classes also helped break the soil.

Third-grade student Camilla Butler designed one of the shovels used for the groundbreaking. She will start fourth grade at the new Eureka Elementary and is excited to see the new school and explore inside.

“I’m most excited for how big the school is going to be,” Camilla said. “They said it’s going to be big, I don’t really know how much yet.”

Camilla’s mother, Meagan, was also onsite for the groundbreaking event.

“My husband and I were born and raised in this school system,” Meagan Butler said. “It’s really exciting to see all the growth and progress.”

The school is two-stories tall and more than 108,000-square-feet. The goal of the size is to comfortably accommodate about 600 students. It will also be the district’s first completely new school since the construction of Fairway Elementary in 2004.

“This is a long time coming,” Eureka Elementary Principal Lynn White said at the groundbreaking. “It’s gotten everyone involved in building our dream school. We’ve had student input and staff input and creating that vision.”

The new school was discussed as a mean to cope with a projected influx of students to the Rockwood School District Area after Proposition “Thrive” was approved in April 2017, thus allowing the district to issue general obligation bonds and borrow $95.5 million to upgrade multiple district schools. Part of the proposition was also the construction of a new elementary school within the Arbors of Rockwood subdivision, which was still under construction at the time.

The current Eureka Elementary will be converted to an Early Childhood Center. The new Eureka Elementary is tentatively scheduled to open in time for the 2019-20 school year.

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