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District dedicates new school

IRONTON — With the cutting of three orange, black and white ribbons, the Ironton City School district dedicated its newest building Thursday afternoon.

The district welcomed students, staff, local officials and several people who were part of the project’s process to the dedication on the lawn of the Seventh-Street facility.

Superintendent Dean Nance addressed the crowd after the IHS Singers sang the national anthem.

“It’s been a long time coming but it’s one that was very much worth the wait,” Nance said of the school’s opening.

He thanked the community, students and staff, along with the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission for making the new schools possible.

He called the new school one of the finest facilities in the country.

“It was built in a way to preserve Ironton’s heritage, history and class,” Nance said. “This is without a doubt a dream come true.”

School board president Robert Pleasant also spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The school is a dream that began 12 years ago when Pleasant became a board member, he said.

“It’s something that we worked at for a long time,” he said.

Pleasant also thanked Nance for his efforts at getting the levy passed and the schools built.

“He has been a man on a mission and at times wearing us out,” Pleasant said to laughs from the crowd. Nance guided the project for the students’ sake, Pleasant said.

“I want to publicly thank our superintendent for a job well done,” he said.

Andrew Hicks, the 2009 junior class president, addressed the crowd on behalf of the student body.

“The school was well worth waiting for these past three years,” Hicks said,

Mayor Rich Blankenship thanked city residents.

“Irontonians, you are the best resource we have,” Blankenship said. “You came together through adversity and you made a difference.”

He then addressed the students.

“It’s your turn to learn everything you can and give back,” he said. “As mayor of Ironton, I’m proud to be a Fighting Tiger. Congrats for a job well done.”

After the ribbon cutting, those in attendance were invited to tour the school.

Susan Sheridan, who used to teach English at the school during the 1980s, got her first look at the school.

Sheridan commented that with the quality of the staff together with the facility, anything is possible.

“It’s just breathtaking,” Sheridan said. “The expansiveness is so impressive.”