New elementary school opens on time, under budget

by Denise Gawlik

A new chapter officially began for the Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District Aug. 1 with a ceremonial ribbon cutting celebrating the grand opening of the new Brecksville-Broadview Heights Elementary School.

The ceremony included remarks by Superintendent Joelle Magyar, School Board President Mark Dosen, Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby, Broadview Heights Mayor Sam Alai and Ohio State Senator Matt Dolan. Following the ribbon cutting, guests were invited to tour both the new school and the adjoining fieldhouse.

Magyar welcomed guests and expressed her heartfelt thanks to all individuals who made the elementary school possible. Dosen stressed the district’s financial responsibility in administering bond proceeds, noting that the project was both completed under budget and allowed them to make infrastructure investments in the high school, middle school and athletic fields.

Alai commented on the tradition of BBH graduates returning to the community to raise their families and attend BBH schools. He remarked that all his children had graduated from BBH and that he now has several grandchildren who are attending or will be attending BBH schools. 

Hruby addressed the partnership between Brecksville and the school district, focusing on the vision he and Magyar shared in constructing a new elementary and the importance of having a school building located in Brecksville. Hruby emphasized the cost savings this partnership provides to both Brecksville and Broadview Heights.

Lastly, Senator Dolan thanked the community for demonstrating the value in educating our children through construction of the new school.

The new school is state-of-the-art, featuring a whimsical color palate on the furniture, walls and cozy nooks. There is also a life-sized Lite-Brite, Scrabble board, slide and giant stairs marked with titles of several beloved children’s books. The classrooms are bright, spacious and provide views of the surroundings, including a landscaped courtyard.

The adjoining field house is equally spectacular and boasts six basketball courts with a two-lane track running along its circumference. The space is accented in traditional Bees red along with the Brecksville “B.”

During school hours, the fieldhouse will serve as the elementary school gymnasium and will be open for community use in the evening hours.

Students, families and the community were able to tour the new facility Aug. 1-8. During that two-week span, nearly every available tour, which consisted of approximately 100 guests three times per day – were filled. The tours were led by district administrators, including Magyar and BBH Elementary School Principal Coleen Toth.

After touring, rising fourth-grader Carter Edlind enthusiastically proclaimed that he was “excited to go to school now.” He was most excited to try out the ninja warrior course that is part of the school’s outdoor playground.

The Spacek family of Brecksville toured the school with Magyar.  Nellie Spacek noted that it was clear “the amount of planning and foresight” that went into the construction. She said she was impressed by “the indoor and outdoor seating in the cafeteria” as well as the Lite-Brite, playground and the use of color to provide separation in the school areas.

Leah Spacek, a rising senior, noted designers and school officials were “super purposeful and intentional about their design and it will be great for the kids.”  Ben Spacek, a rising junior, especially loved the fieldhouse and said he cannot wait to play basketball there. ∞

Photo: Students will be able to use a slide from the school’s second story to access the first-floor library. Photo submitted by Bill Henning