CLAYTON — Thousands of local residents attended the dedication ceremony Sunday at 2 p.m. of the new Northmont High School. The ceremony was held in the new basketball arena known as ‘The Thunderdome.’
Superintendent Dr. Sarah Zatik, members of the board of education, representatives of Shook-Touchstone, the Ohio Facilities Commission, Ruetschle Architects, Ohio Senator Peggy Lehner, Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman, State Representative Mike Henne, Lisa Hayes – Southwest Regional Liaison of the Office of Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, and Willis “Bing” Davis spoke and made presentations during the ceremony.
Local mayors, city managers and elected officials were among members of the audience. Others present included community activists who helped promote construction of the new school.
School Board President Linda Blum welcomed the honored guests and community members attending the dedication.
“This long awaited day has finally arrived,” Blum said. “I cannot express enough how indebted we are to the many who have given their time, energy and expertise to this rather complicated project. And while in the essence of time, we will only scratch the surface of those who should be thanked, and only some will be introduced and asked to come to the podium, that certainly does not minimize the impact of the countless numbers who have shared in the evolution of this project. No one can build a school alone. We built this school together. This is our school, for our community, for our students and ready for our future. We couldn’t be more proud. It means a lot to have you here today to help us celebrate.”
Blum went on cite the thousands of students who have graduated from Northmont with a top-notch education with a foundation to build their own greatness. Blum called School Board Member Tom Walker to the podium and thanked him for his constant diligence to the high school project.
“Tom has dedicated the past few years to our facilities project,” Blum noted. “He has spent countless hours working, or should I say ‘volunteering’ alongside our construction manager and our construction administrator. We are so grateful for your willingness to serve as the board of education’s facilities liaison, and for your perspective and expert advice. Tom has been the voice at the table looking after the interests of Northmont students and staff, as well as our taxpayer dollars.”
Walker has been on-site and has personally catalogued about a thousand pictures of the high school project. Walker was presented with a plaque that is a replica of the plaque on display in the high school building.
“We appreciate all you have done and will continue to do for Northmont,” Blum said upon presenting Walker with the plaque.
Superintendent Zatik thanked everyone for coming out for the ceremony despite the frigid weather. She invited everyone to tour the building and to take in performances by various student groups throughout the building. She talked about the track in the new gymnasium that is open to the public for use during basketball games. The track will also be open for public use when security protocols can be established.
Other speakers included Mike Eckley of Shook-Touchstone, David Chovan of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, Mike Ruetschle of Ruetschle Architects, Ohio Senator Peggy Lehner, County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman and Board Member Tom Walker.
Lisa Hayes, Southwest Liaison of the Office of Lt. Governor Mary Taylor presented a proclamation on the dedication of the new high school. State Representative Mike Henne presented an American flag that has flow over the Ohio Statehouse to Principal George Caras and artist Willis “Bing” Davis discussed the permanent art that will be on display in the school.
Caras and Student School Board Representative Samantha Johnson and other students presented a time capsule with various items it will contain.
Lastly, a ribbon cutting was held to officially open the school for its first day of class on Monday.
Union City Manager John Applegate was just one many local officials to attend the dedication on Sunday.
“Sitting there brought back a lot of memories,” Applegate said. “I can remember attending the old Randolph building going to school and we went from that school to what was then then the new high school. We were the second class to attend four years there, the Class of ‘65. It was a fantastic high school at the time. It was great and gorgeous, but when you go out to this new one you sit there and just go, ‘Wow!’ I mean, it’s awesome. There isn’t any other way to say it. The kids today, I’m telling you, they’ve got it made.”
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind