By Ted Waddell
ROSCOE November 20, 2001 On Friday, Roscoe Central School held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new classroom and gymnasium addition, under a banner titled Rising to the Future.
The $5 million bond project was approved by district voters on April 11, 2000. When completed, it will feature a gym, four classrooms, a bluestone lobby and handicapped access throughout the entire school.
This is the schools first major construction project in decades. The original building was constructed in 1939. Two minor additions (a cafeteria and the primary wing) were built in the early 1960s.
The 39 gym is one of the last remaining band box gyms in the state, but the new athletic facility will allow Roscoes teams to play in sectional competition on their home floor.
To begin the ceremonies, Louis Formato, student government president, led the assemblage of several hundred in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Its been a long time coming, said Roscoe Superintendent George V. Will. It opens up a whole new era in terms of educational and athletic opportunities for our kids.
This is very much a community school, he added. The expanded facility will benefit the whole community over the generations to come at Roscoe . . . with a program focused on the students.
Martin Handler, Sullivan County BOCES district superintendent of schools, offered congratulations on behalf of NYS Education Department Commissioner Richard Mills.
This is a very important milestone, said Handler. The board of education had the wisdom and foresight to do the planning and bring this project forward. . . . The community had the foresight to do the best for its children.
Today is a very special day, he added.
Philip Eggleton, president of the local board of education, addressed the crowd on behalf of the rest of the board, consisting of Gary Dahlman (vice-president), Merlin Brock, Howard Huck and Edward Park.
But the groundbreaking ceremony was really about kids. After the administrators and members of the board of education pitched in with shiny new shovels to toss symbolic spades full of dirt into the future, student government and class representatives joined hands with members of the future classes of 2014 and 2015 to turn over earth in what will eventually become the center of the new addition.
Superintendent Will was joined by project executive William Conner of Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., and Edward McGraw and Allen Kosoff of Ashley McGraw Architects in presenting an overview of the building project.
The schools Alma Mater was performed by members of the Roscoe Central School band and chorus.
In his closing remarks, Will said he met with the projects five primary contractors and was assured that, if everything goes according to plan, construction of the new addition and handicapped renovations should be completed by the start of school next year.
Were praying for a warm winter, he said.
The groundbreaking ceremony concluded with the release of hundreds of blue and white balloons, representing the schools colors.