A ribbon cutting and open house was held for the new Fredericktown Middle School Tuesday night.
After more than two years of holding classes in temporary classrooms, the fall semester sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will attend school in a permanent location.
“We are very excited to have finally reached the official ribbon-cutting process,” said Dr. Kelly Burlison, R-1 Superintendent. “There have been a lot of people who have put in a great amount of time to bring this building to a conclusion. It is a facility that the community will be proud of.”
The 60,000 square foot facility cost an estimated $7.5 million to construct. The contract was awarded to Brockmiller Construction of Farmington. Funds for the project were secured through the district’s insurance settlement from the previous structure destroyed by fire in 2010.
The new school building will include a newly-designed multi-purpose area or “Cafetorium,” which will act as both a cafeteria and fine arts center and will allow for greater functionality for special events.
“There is always an issue trying to coordinate events between the fine arts department and the physical education departments in the same room,” said Burlison. “Now we can have a choir event, or a band event going on at the same time as our sporting events. I felt that once the community sees this and puts some use into it, they will really enjoy the building being designed this way.”
Another feature of the building is a “safe-room” designed to withstand an F-05 category storm. Funding for this part of the building was provided by a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Though the building itself is new, according to Burlison, “it will still be an all-purpose school.”
“The classes will be the same as well as most of the curriculum. It’s a new building, but we are still going to have industrial arts and family and consumer sciences as well as our base curriculum,” Burlison said.
The old Fredericktown Middle School was destroyed by fire Saturday April 10, 2010. An estimated 130 firefighters from 19 different fire departments battled the blaze.
The destruction of the old middle school building, which was once the high school, saddened the entire community.
Two juveniles were taken into custody the following Sunday by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. Their names or details on formal charges were never released to the public.
Over 450 Fredericktown students were left without a school after the blaze. Some students have spent their entire Middle School career in trailers, as the community struggled to find a proper place to hold classes.