On August 24 Milan Elementary School held a dedication ceremony for its newly renovated library.
Phase I of the library project was completed over the summer thanks to the Milan Elementary PTO and other individuals who contributed supplies and services. The ceremony took place in the library with a ribbon-cutting and the opportunity to thank contributors as well as a kick-off of this year's fundraiser to complete Phase II.
The project began last fall when the PTO determined that money raised in the fall fundraiser would go to what students call an "extreme library makeover."
Principal Jane Rogers said that students related to the TV reality show and were excited to see their efforts pay off when returning to school in August. "The project would not have been possible without the generosity of our PTO and three gentlemen and their companies," she noted.
Rogers paid tribute to those involved with making the project possible. Jerry Firestone, from Triangle Design, donated architectural services to design the makeover. The library was the last remaining part of the open concept from the original building project in 1976. The addition of walls maximizes library space and makes it fully functional for students and teachers.
The second contributor recognized was Jeff Poole, with the Poole Group, Inc. His construction company gave the school discounts and completed work in quick fashion. Work included adding walls and windows on the perimeter, reshaping the story circle, and adding storage room doors.
Rob Shilling, with Vinyl and Carpet Service, was recognized for donating the carpet for the project. The unique checkerboard design was a student favorite, according to fifth graders.
The program, led by Rogers, honored librarian, Connie Coyle, and her assistant, Carol Bruns, for their hard work and dedication during the renovation.
Also honored were members of the Milan Elementary custodial staff who helped move books and furniture in and out; painted walls; assisted with electricity and lighting; and cleaned up throughout the process. The summer custodial staff consisted of: Mike Zinz, Sherri Pennington, Jeanne Grieve, Hershel Byrd, Lisa Cook and Charlie Dudgeon.
PTO President Dawn Lewis and officers Jennifer Knowlton, Gina Keller, and many members present were also recognized for their efforts during the fundraiser and their willingness to support the renovation.
This is the second year the Milan Elementary PTO has taken on a large project, with last year's project being the playground renovation. The PTO hopes to continue with Phase II by adding new books, especially for upper level readers, adding technology, furniture and decorations.
The PTO also pays for all students to attend field trips and various special projects each year. "Our library is the centerpiece of our school and we greatly appreciate the support of our PTO and all who donated to the library makeover," stated Principal Rogers.
Fourth and fifth grade students assisted during the special ceremony. Fifth graders, Savannah Clark and Ethan Moore; and fourth graders, Abby Ferriera and Evan Miller, held the ribbon while library staff Coyle and Bruns cut it.
Rogers declared the library dedicated to all Milan Elementary students.
Fifth graders: Abby Knowlton, Talon Gobel, and Logan Nudds; and fourth graders: Delaney Bushhorn, Ethan Schwipps, and Bo Wade, distributed gifts to honored guests. All staff members, including secretaries Debra Johnson and Teresa Heppner, were thanked for their part in the project.
Elementary students enjoyed a skit performed by staff members Coyle, Bruns, and Rogers, along with Brenda Schwering, counselor; Lisa Combs, technology assistant; and PTO members Keller and Knowlton, while Jane Brinkman assisted with photography.
The makeover process was captured through pictures. A slide show was shown to students during the skit. Students were then challenged to another successful fundraising project this year.
Coyle concluded, "Phase I turned out beautifully. The addition of walls allows us to maximize space. The paint looks great and the carpet is a big hit. We look forward to Phase II!"
Milan Elementary School Principal Jane Rogers, standing, talks as students gather around for the big reveal and dedication ceremony of the Milan Elementary Library renovation on August 24. The project was made possible by the PTO and generous contributors.