It was an exciting scene at Eden Park Elementary School on June 17 – and not just because it was the last day of school.
At 9 a.m., the schools students, faculty and staff, along with officials from Cranston Public Schools and City Hall, participated in a kick-off event for the reconstruction of the school’s intermediate wing.
According to the school district, the project is part of a large-scale educational facilities master plan.
“The students, teachers, and the community at large will greatly benefit from these projects. The district’s objective is to create a model school building to showcase the future of our schools and our city,” according to a press release regarding the event.
During the kick-off, adults and students alike were outfitted with construction hard hats. The students helped with the big reveal – pulling down a wooden replica of Eden Park School and showcasing a ceremonial beam, which was to be signed by those in attendance.
Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse was one of the first to add her signature to the beam. She shared her enthusiasm for the project.
“This is one of the most exciting educational projects we have embarked on in many years. Our vision for our district is to provide students with 21st-century learning spaces that encourage creativity, skill development and collaborative learning among the students,” she said.
She added: “This project will provide a model showcase for what schools can look like. So many of our schools are old, outdated and difficult to provide flexibility for our teachers. Using technology appropriately to inspire students and expand educational opportunities is important, and it’s very difficult to do in a building designed with two plugs in a classroom. The renovations will allow our students to work in a more flexible, welcoming, nurturing environment. This new space is exciting and inspiring for students and teachers and we are excited to see what it will be in September.”
Eden Park Principal Courtney Sevigny was on hand in her custom pink hard hat at the event, and said she is excited for the future of the school. She said the new space will be a good match for Eden Park’s creative, innovative staff.
“We are very excited for our new learning space. It has been amazing to watch the transformation,” she said. “Our staff and students have been so innovative and creative over the years. It is because of their hard work that we were selected for this Pathfinder project. They will now have a learning space that fosters their innovation and brings teaching and learning to new heights.”
According to Sevigny, the school community began preparations during the school year in order to be ready for the fall opening of the new space.
“We have been participating in ongoing professional development to further our skills and prepare us to incorporate project based learning into our curriculum,” she said. “We cannot wait to see the finished renovation and get back in there to do what we love.”
Mayor Allan Fung was also on hand to cheer on the students and participate in the countdown as the students pulled on their ropes. He signed the beam and shared his enthusiasm for the project.
“This is an exciting, time, especially for all of the students at Eden Park to see the construction behind them and then to have their names as a part of the legacy of the school,” he said. “It’s also an exciting time for the city, the schools, the families, and the neighborhood, who are excited for the construction. We are the first city to take advantage of the state dollars to enhance the school buildings. It’s an exciting time for Eden Park and it’s an exciting time for the city of Cranston.”