BLUEFIELD, WV – Gov. Jim Justice was on hand in Bluefield today for a ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of West Virginia’s newest school building.
The Governor joined State education leaders, Mercer County school administrators, and dozens of young students inside the gymnasium of the all-new Mountain Valley Elementary School for a “bell-ringing” ceremony, commemorating the official opening of the school.
“Today’s a great day in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “No way could it be better. It’s fabulous beyond belief, it’s beautiful beyond belief, and it’s exciting beyond belief.”
The new school cost $12.1 million. Of that total, more than $7.8 million of the funding came through a grant from the West Virginia School Building Authority and approved by Gov. Justice.
The remaining $4.2 million was provided by the Mercer County Board of Education.
The school is a consolidation of Ceres Elementary K-5 and the Cumberland Heights Early Learning Center (Pre-K), and includes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Music) classrooms, a READ room (media center), and other innovative amenities designed to inspire creativity and learning.
“I’ve always said that education should be our centerpiece of everything we do in West Virginia and that we have incredible treasures in our kids,” Gov. Justice said. “This is your community, this is your centerpiece, these are your treasures. Go forward.”
Among the Mercer County school officials taking part in the event were Board of Education President Paul Hodges, Superintendent Dr. Deborah Akers, and Assistant Superintendent Rick Ball.
Several students – ranging in age from 3rd grade to 5th grade – also took part in the ceremony. This “Leadership Team” introduced speakers at the event and rang the bell signifying the school’s opening.
School will be in session in the new facility beginning this coming Monday morning; Jan. 6, 2020.
Following the bell-ringing ceremony, attendees toured the rest of the new facility.