Sunday, August 4, 2013

Norris Intermediate Open House dedication speech

Norris Intermediate Open House dedication speech

August 4, 2013

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us for this wonderful celebration of the opening of Norris Intermediate School. This is 65,000 square feet and another 12 acres of awesomeness joining one of the most beautiful developed campuses in the state to support great k-12 education for our students.

I'm Dr. John Skretta, Superintendent of the Norris School District and it is my pleasure to welcome you here today for our ribbon-cutting and campus-wide open house.

Norris Board members & district partners from DLR and Hausmann 
join principal Dr. Bob Brandt in cutting the ribbon opening Norris Intermediate School
While many of you parents here today were probably hoping we'd actually start classes immediately and you could drop your kids off now and leave them with us, you'll have to wait about 10 days yet. The first actual student day is not until August 14, and you'll notice in walking about the building and around our grounds here that not absolutely everything is done just yet. We still have a few details to tend to – laying some sod down, putting wood chips on the play area over on the playground. But we're getting much closer every day, and we're so excited to share this new building with you!

The Norris Intermediate school marks the completion of the largest infrastructure addition in campus history, funded by the passage of a $14 million bond issue in the spring of 2012. The support of our patrons and the commitment of our constituents provides the resources that have enabled this district to excel.

There are some folks who need to be mentioned specifically here for their contributions to the success of this project. It starts with our School Board, Patty Bentzinger, Larry Grosshans, Tony Glenn, Jim Kruger, Craig Gana, and Jim Craig. An outstanding Board that has provided the public with the vision and the stewardship to sustain excellence for our students. I would also like to thank our design partners DLR, who did a great job in taking input and feedback from all of us, especially teachers conducting school visitations and identifying things they needed to see in classrooms, and working to tailor a design that met our needs. Thank you, Mike and Pat and your team at DLR.

We thank Hausmann Construction, the Construction Manager for this awesome project. Joey & Matt, thanks for the passion and the knowledge you have brought to this project and your sound management. Ted Shively, you are the ninja master of site superintendents, capable of juggling a lot of tasks at once and never getting flustered. No matter what the situation presents, you have a great solution.

There are many project partners who helped us a ton to make sure this thing came off without a hitch, from Scott Wieskamp's helpful consultation, to Doyle Petersen's engineering skills through Benesch to Kaser painting and their excellent work throughout the facility. And so many others, especially Dr. Bob Brandt and his faculty and staff. Bob is our veteran building principal who has committed so much time and energy getting everything set up for our students.

We have some other dignitaries who helped lay the foundation for all of this, because the foundation of a great district is about a lot more than bricks and mortar. It's about the people who commit their livelihoods to the service of students. Roy Baker, former Norris Superintendent, who has finally gotten rid of that Beatrice gear he was wearing for a while, and other former administrators including Galen Boldt, Randy Bates, and Barry Stark.

We would also like to recognize that our friend Nate is here today from Congressman Fortenberry's office; Nate thank you for your support throughout the project and our good state senator and former Norris board member Sen. Norm Wallman representing our legislative district thank you for being here.

It is my pleasure now to introduce you to Norris Board of Education President Patty Bentzinger.