The home of the Roseau Rams was full of energy Wednesday, filled with students, parents and community members, as well as city, government and business leaders as they saw the end of a three-year-long journey.
For Superintendent Tom Jerome, he saw the crowd filled with “lots of happiness, lots of excitement.”
“This marks an end of a tremendous journey our entire community has been on and the start of a brand new beginning for us,” he said.
Roseau celebrated the end of its construction project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 30, followed by an open house and concerts performed by author Eric Litwin, best known for his book series “Pete the Cat.” Ice cream sundaes were served during the open house and Jerome said students, parents and community members alike were excited to see the finished product, though there are a few last-minute things that need to be finished.
The project began with its approval in May of 2020 at the start of the pandemic. The school worked with JLG Architects and contractor Kraus-Anderson on the project, who were also at the event on Wednesday. The project included remodeling , new classrooms, a music suite, replacements of outdated systems and updates to fire and life safety codes. Jerome mentioned how construction also turned some hallways into flex learning spaces, expanding them and adding things like furniture. Lockers were also moved from academic wings to take away the “hustle and bustle” around classrooms.
Jerome said attendees touring the renovated areas were amazed at the amount of natural light that now filtered into the building, and that he saw people’s eyes light up. He heard several “ooh”s and “aah”s from the crowd.
“Everything was worth it,” he said about the project.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Litwin performed two concerts, one for pre-kindergarten through second-grade students, and the other for third- through sixth-grade students. Through singing and laughter, Litwin taught about the importance of family engagement, the joyfulness of literacy, resiliency, positive attitudes and the importance of reading at home. Jerome watched these concerts as well, seeing the impact they had not just on the children, but the parents as well.
“It was hard to watch that and not become emotional,” he said.
Jerome expressed his thanks to students and staff alike for their patience and resilience through the process, adapting to the changes the school was going through and how they impacted class. He also thanked the school’s community for its support.
“I can’t express enough gratitude to our neighbors that live across the street from our school on the north, south, east and west side,” he said. “Because you can’t take on a 44-plus-million-dollar project without indirectly impacting our neighbors. And we’re really thankful and appreciate everything they’ve done for us and have been a part of.”