In a ceremony that recognized everyone from students to political figures, the Niles School District broke ground Friday on the first of three new buildings marking an end to decades of neighborhood schools.
''Niles McKinley High School has served us well,'' said school superintendent Rocco Adduci. ''Now it is time to move on to future generations.''
Remarking on how much difference a state of the art facility can make to students, Adduci noted that attending the new middle school has helped instill pride and self-esteem to students.
There will be two more groundbreakings as well, Adduci said, for the two new elementary buildings to be built on the sites of the current Bonham and Lincoln Elementary schools. Those buildings are currently undergoing demolition, which should be complete by the end of the month, he said.
The current S.J. Bonham Elementary was dedicated in 1957 and Lincoln Elementary was dedicated in 1956.
Kailee Knight, senior class representative of the district also spoke at the ceremony, stating although she wouldn't be attending the new facility, she is ''grateful and excited for what lies ahead for the Niles school district.''
The current high school was dedicated in 1957. Also attending the ceremony were Anthony and Beth Perrone, graduates of the first class at that facility in 1958. According to Niles historical documents, the bronze statue of William McKinley that sits in front of the school building was forged in Italy in 1904 and donated to the city by tobacco heiress Doris Duke. The statue is expected to be placed at the front entrance to the new high school building.