2003 Dedication Ceremony
It was a day of celebration, Joe Stockham declared to the crowd
of students, teachers, parents and community leaders in the gymnasium of the
new Minford Elementary and Middle schools as they gathered to dedicate their
"It took a while to get it built, but look what we have now," said Stockham, president of the Minford Local Board of Education, on Nov. 21. "I don't think you could ask for a better project."
Six years ago, voters in Minford approved a levy to build new schools. A high school was built first, and now the elementary and the middle schools.
Dennis Meade, superintendent of Minford Local Schools, said everyone is happy with the facilities.
"We are really glad to be here," he said, ephasizing that the schools are a lot more spacious, have state-of-the-art telephone and video systems, fully equipped science labs and two library/media centers.
"Instead of the dungeonlike atmosphere of the old middle school," Meade said, "we have a wonderful, much better lit, much better cooling and heating systems, so its comfortable year round."
The cost of the project was about $22 million.
"We came in below budget so we added to our projects, including three additional parking lots which we desperately needed, and we were able to put a stage in the high school gym," Meade said. "We are just glad to be here."
The only link to the old schools is the high school gymnasium, which is now part of the K-8 building.
Meade said the principals were instrumental in the designing of the building and made sure the focus remained on the students.
"I worked with the architects and the builders," said Timothy Allen, principal at Minford Elementary School. " I was giving them advice telling them what the school's needs were and some of the concerns we had."
Allen said he was happy with the result.
"It's beautiful. We love it," he said. " And it's something future generations will have to look forward to for years and years."
Minford Middle Schiool Principal Kevin Lloyd said the new schools are something everyone has been dreaming about. He said his favorite part was the excitement around learning among the staff and students.
"It's really given us a more positive attitude, not that we weren't positive before," he said. "But with the new building, there is a sense of pride and confidence."
He vividly remembers his first day of teaching at Minford High School.
"I'm a coffee drinker, so I plugged my coffe pot into an outlet and we lost all the electric upstairs," Lloyd said. "Even though we lost all the electric upstairs," Llyod said. "Even though we made renovations later on, it was still a 1922 building."
"Its's a night and day between these buildings," he said. "We finally moved not only into the 20th century, but into the 21st century. I felt somtimes we were stuck in the 1890s."