The new Nations Ford Elementary building was dedicated Oct. 16, signaling a new day for the school that first opened in 1957.
"It's a breath of fresh air," said Principal Alejandra Garcia.
The new facility is a replacement school built with funds from the 2013 bond and cost approximately $19 million. It has 40 classrooms and is located directly behind E.E. Waddell Language Academy on Nations Ford Road.
Garcia, Superintendent Ann Clark and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Chairperson Mary McCray spoke at the ceremony. A third-grade class sang "What a Wonderful School" and student ambassadors conducted school tours after the program.
"I've been asking students what they like best, and the most consistent answer was 'everything,'" Clark said. "The consistent message from teachers is, 'This is a great space to teach in.'"
Clark emphasized the brightness and cheerfulness of the new space and how energizing it is for students and staff to come to a new school. Larger classrooms and new technology are other advantages that come with a new building.
Nations Ford has a strong sense of community and has experienced double-digit proficiency growth. Garcia said there were some tears shed when the building first opened, along with a feeling of gratefulness.
"It's very powerful to have this building," she said. "The students feel so rewarded."
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