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Ribbon cut for Bowling Green school

Del. Margaret Ransone shared some advice with the handful of students at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Bowling Green Elementary Friday.

“Look at all the leaders in your community who built this school for you,” she said. “This is a sheer example of how you can focus on something and can make it happen.”

Ransone represents the 99th District in the House of Delegates, part of which covers Caroline County.

She was referring to the string of speakers before her who thanked all the school and county officials for opening the school after $10 million in renovations.

After Friday’s ceremony, officials snipped a purple ribbon and then held a reception in the new library. Fifth-grade students offered tours of the new school to the guests.

Though the building was open in time for the first day of school in September, “pardon our dust” signs have been posted around the school while final work has been done.

The building was formerly Bowling Green Primary School, which housed pre-K through second-grade students.

But for the new school year, the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students moved over from the former Bowling Green Elementary and brought the school’s name with them.

The new school includes a new administrative area, renovated classrooms, and a new library, cafeteria and gym.

Friday’s ceremony celebrated the work that went into getting the school ready for the first day.

“This is truly not an individual achievement—it’s an achievement of the entire community,” said Floyd Thomas, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

Others echoed that sentiment.

Schools Superintendent Greg Killough said it was a work in progress to get the school to that point, but the journey was well worth it.

“It took a whole community to open this school,” he said.

He said the week before the first day, many people worked around the clock to get the school ready.

“I have never in my career seen a community come together like Bowling Green,” said Randy Jones, chief executive officer of OWPR, the architecture firm on the project.

David Storke, the mayor of Bowling Green, said he was proud to have the town’s name on the school that two of his own children attend.

“I can’t say enough about the parents and leadership of the school. It should be an example for the county and the state,” he said.

When parents learned that the original plans didn’t include a new playground at the school, they worked with the PTA and school officials to raise money so that the students could have one.

Storke referred to the school bond referendum that Caroline voters approved Tuesday that will allow the county to spend $26.5 million renovating Caroline High School and Madison Elementary School.

The measure was approved by 81 percent of the county’s voters.

“There has been a turning of attitude,” he said.

“A lot of folks are coming together in our school system,” he said. “If you haven’t noticed the change occurring, look around. Caroline County has a wonderful school system and it’s getting better.”

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413