BASCOM - Hopewell-Loudon Chieftains gathered Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking for their new home, scheduled to be completed in June 2013 and opened that fall.
With rain falling Tuesday, the ceremony was moved inside. It was in the high school gymnasium, which is to be maintained when the rest of the current building is demolished upon completion of the construction project.
Voters approved a ballot issue to build the new school in May 2010 after rejecting issues in 2009. The new K-12 building is being constructed on the east side of CR 7 - across the road from the current building - on land the district already owned and is to be about 132,500 square feet.
Hopewell-Loudon Local School District was formed nearly 75 years ago when the boards for schools in Hopewell and Loudon townships decided to form one school. Superintendent Geoff Palmer said when the country still was in the Great Depression, voters approved a bond issue for construction of a new K-12 building.
"That original building opened for the graduating class of 1940," he said.
Linda Depinet, board president, said 70 years ago, the dream people went after was to build a school for students and make the community proud.
"That dream is where we're at today. ... Now, 70 years later, we are going after that same dream," she said.
Sophomore Morgan Brant, co-president of the class of 2014, the first class that is to graduate in the new building, said the new school will enhance students' experience at Hopewell-Loudon, and she is excited to make many memories in it.
Brant thanked community members who supported and voted for the new school.
"Your decision was a great one," she said.
Depinet thanked the community, faculty and students.
"What would we do without you (students)? ... We are very blessed. We have talented athletes. We have gifted musicians, and many, many academic achievers," she said.