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Keyes breaks ground on new eight-classroom wing
Keyes Union School District officials broke ground last week on a new eight-classroom addition to Keyes Elementary School.

Part of a four-year modernization project, the 10,000-square-foot building will provide six kindergarten and two primary grades classrooms, three workrooms, and seven restrooms. The new building will also feature an outdoor play area with a tricycle track.

The project is being funded by a $5 million bond measure passed in 2005 to modernize Keyes Elementary School and provide for other facilities in the district. The building, which should be completed in May and ready for occupancy in the 2010-11 school year, is the final of three modernization efforts, said Supt. Karen Poppen.

The Nov. 10 ceremony was held in front of the construction pad, where footings were poured the same morning. Taking turns at ceremonial shovelfuls were board members Marianne Pietrzyk, Bob Edwards and Sandra Marchant as well as kindergarten teachers Donna Fitzgerald, Yanina Ebon and Debbie Black, students, architect Gary Gery, and Maintenance/Operations/Transportation Supervisor Jerry Hines. Other board members who had a vision to add classroom space were Tony Aguilar, and Remona Rayburn.

"It was courageous for them to move forward on construction in the midst of the most serious economic downturn in the past 60 years," said Poppen.

Poppen noted at the ceremony that third grade teacherswere used the pouring of the footings to explain their vocabulary word for this week - "concrete."

When the eight new classrooms are occupied, Principal Cynthia Schaefer will move all Keyes Elementary School services and classrooms back to the main campus from temporary locations at Keyes to Learning Charter School. Keyes to Learning will then have use of all eight of its new portable buildings.

Providing refreshments at the ceremony was Ron Holcombe and Pacific Program Management.

McDonald Glenn Construction is the construction company and Gary Gery, of WWCOT Architects, is the lead architect on the project.