COLUMBIANA - It takes a village to raise a child, the saying goes, and for Crestview Local School District, the cooperation of an entire community helped raise a new performing arts center that will benefit its children.
A daylong dedication of the new center Saturday featured musical performances, an art display, tours and a ribbon cutting conducted by those who helped make the nearly $5 million facility a reality.
Calling the school "the heart of our community," board of education President David Vollnogle said that is evident in the support shown for athletic programs, compassion for families in need and, finally, the dedication of the new facility.
Among those performing at Saturday's dedication of the Crestview Schools performing arts center was the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band.(Salem News photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)
He took those in the audience on a short trip back memory lane, to a time when Crestview Local School District was composed of separate buildings scattered throughout the area and the high school was little more than a "one-hallway school."
With a new K-12 complex, a new bus garage, athletic fields, bleachers, and now the performing arts center, Vollnogle said, "That was a busy period of time during relatively few years, made possible by cooperation and teamwork, with everybody working together for the betterment of the district."
Continuing this trend, the district is planning to provide all students with netbook computers for classroom use, Vollnogle said, noting, "It's all about our students. They deserve the best we can give them. With all of us working together, we can make things happen."
He commended not only the community and school personnel but the contractors who worked on the performing arts center, saying the effort going on behind the scenes was not always obvious to the public.
"This facility will benefit students and the community as a whole for many years to come," Vollnogle said.
District Treasurer Charlene Mercure said the $4.8-$5 million facility was built with money borrowed at a .75 percent interest rate, with construction started in July 2010.
More than 20,000 square feet encompasses a 2,800-square-foot stage in a 1,000-seat auditorium. A scenery shop, dressing rooms and new restrooms are all included in the new building, constructed near the front entrance to the middle school.
From noon until 6 p.m. Saturday, the community got the opportunity to view its new facility and get a taste of the kinds of entertainment to which it can play host. In addition to performances by elementary, middle and high school bands and high school chorale, the kindergarten classes offered the musical, "Kindergarten is Cool.
A highlight of the day was a performance by the Youngstown Area
Community Concert Band, conducted by Joseph Pelligrini.
Dr. Denise Seachrist, a 1978 graduate and current director of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University, performed the National Anthem and led the alma mater prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Participating in the ribbon cutting was state Rep. Craig Newbold as well as current and former school board members, other school officials, students, architects and contractors who worked on the project and state board of education member Deb Cain.
General contractor was C. Tucker Cope and Associates, and Strollo Architects designed the new facility. Other contractors were Graft Electric, Ellyson Plumbing & Heating, Fire Foe Corporation, York Mahoning Heating, Verostko Engineering and X-Treme Landscaping.
Newbold also presented commendations to the school for having achieved "Excellent" status on the state report card. Accepting for all three grade levels were students Alexis Marnejon and Adam Cunning.