Swanton Local Schools celebrated a new look to the district last Tuesday at what is now Swanton Middle School. The former Crestwood Elementary School is now Swanton Elementary School and the former Park Elementary School will now be Swanton Middle School.
District and village officials were on hand to cut the ribbon with the school year starting soon. The first day for students is Sept. 7.
Board of Education President Kris Oberheim said maintaining and renovating Park and Crestwood schools solved the issue of building renovation and movement of students “for decades and decades to come.”
“After failed levies and decreased enrollment, we knew we needed to combine the buildings in order to lower future maintenance and operating expenses of the district,” Oberheim said. “We also knew we had to do this without going to the ballot.”
She highlighted the fiscal responsibility of past boards, treasurers, and superintendents, saying they allowed this project to come to fruition. A large cash balance was built up, which helped the district fund the renovations.
Oberheim also gave credit to treasurer Joyce Kinsman and former superintendent Jeff Schlade.
Swanton Mayor Ann Roth stressed the importance of quality schools.
“Strong schools build strong communities,” said Roth. “And strong communities need to support their school system.”
She added that village officials will continue to support the school system whatever way they can.
Superintendent Christopher Lake began in his position with the project mostly completed, but has many a district resident for many years.
“Tonight we celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Swanton Local Schools,” said Lake. “As the district continues on its mission to provide a superior educational experience and become the school of choice in the area, we are now able to offer our students newly-upgraded facilities.”
He remarked on the importance of not just the buildings, but the people in the district. “The true heart of a great Swanton education comes from the wonderful people.”
Each building principal was then given a large symbolic purple key before the ribbon was cut celebrating the newly expanded buildings.