Members of the community and school district gathered on the campus of L.J. Bell Elementary in Rockingham recently as the school officially launched the construction of a new Physical Education and Technology Center. Officials marked the occasion by holding a groundbreaking ceremony at the school, located at 442 Hawthorne Ave.
“We are so excited to see the machinery out here,” said Principal Bobbie Sue Ormsby as she stood with a small group of students. “We have been waiting a long time for this, and the reason we’re excited is because of boys and girls like this.”
Richmond County Board of Education members Pam Easterling and Cathy Wilson recognized special guests at the ceremony and remarked on the versatility the new building will offer. The approximate 10,292-square-foot building, designed by MBAJ Architecture of Charlotte, will bring two new computer labs and a multipurpose room to the elementary school, and will be situated behind the main building.
Kenneth Robinette, chair of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners, thanked the Board of Education for its vision and endurance during the project, which was first initiated in February 2012. Other contributors to the project include Engineer Neal Smith of Pinehurst and Carpenter Construction Co. of Oakboro.
“This is something that has been much needed,” Robinette said. “It’s been a long time coming — it’s a great day for Richmond County and a great day for L.J. Bell. I know this facility will touch many lives.”
In addition to providing students with a supplementary learning environment, Board of Education Chairman Wiley Mabe noted that the kid-friendly facility will also be an asset to the district’s Summer Enrichment and afternoon programs.
The new Physical Education and Technology Center is scheduled to open for the 2013-14 school year.