Sunday, 17 December 2017 17:05

RRGSD dedicates, celebrates new Manning school

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Medlin helps Manning unveil the plaque. Medlin helps Manning unveil the plaque.

With all but the finishing touches left, the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District this afternoon dedicated the new W.L. Manning Elementary School.

“We’re on time,” Superintendent Dain Butler said after a ribbon-cutting and program which included songs by the school’s chorus, speeches by officials and a student. “We will have the kids in the building January 2.”

During the ceremony, Butler told a large audience, “You may have heard the phrase before:  Teamwork makes the dream work. What we see today is a prime example. This project started long before I arrived in Roanoke Rapids and there have been many advocates and community members that have worked diligently to see this become a reality.”

The superintendent said the school board should be commended for its “financial stewardship and vision to create such an opportunity for our community. The Halifax County Board of Commissioners should be commended for their trust, leadership, and their guidance throughout this project.  

“The staff of Roanoke Rapids Graded School District deserves tremendous credit for their diligence. I would like to personally thank Mr. Robbie Clements (director of facilities and operations) for his work overseeing this project and making sure we could be standing here today.”

Said Butler: “My wife had the opportunity to walk through this building a few days ago. When she returned to the office she was almost in tears and simply said, ‘that’s the kind of school the children deserve.’ I wholeheartedly agree.”

“It’s an awesome building,” school board Chair Jay Carlisle said after the ceremony. “It’s beautiful, state of the art. It’s been a long time coming for the community. I’m proud to be a part of making it happen.”

Board of commissioners Chairman Vernon Bryant told the audience, “The boys and girls at Manning Elementary School will have a new school that is comfortable and conducive to learning for many years to come.”

Bryant also thanked Clements “for a job well done.”

He said the $19.2 million school features wireless technology, advanced student and staff safety features as well as high-efficiency LED lighting, temperature controlled classrooms and pod spaces on each hall for interactive and collaborative learning.

All photos in the gallery were taken by, except the last two, which are courtesy of the RRGSD

Commissioner Rives Manning, nephew of the man the school is named for, said after the program, “I’m absolutely very honored and pleased.”

Manning unveiled the plaque recognizing the dedication of the school and those responsible for bringing it to fruition.

Savannah Medlin, a Manning student, helped the commissioner and then spoke.

“I am most excited about having a big library because I have always loved the library and I can’t wait to have a big space to read and write.”

She said she was also excited about the new gym, “a big beautiful space indoors to run and play and learn.”

Medlin told those assembled she was also excited about having two floors.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to move into a brand new school with new classrooms and furniture,” she said. “Not everybody gets to do that and we appreciate the people who made this possible.”

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