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updated: 10/7/2011 12:06 AM

West Chicago students celebrate start of middle school expansion project

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  • Students participate in a groundbreaking celebration for the West Chicago Middle School expansion. Jonathon Valdivia, Mikey Bibbs, Kendra Whelan, Tony Martin, Eric Santana, Lauren Long, Jenna Palka and Tai Bibbs gather dirt on their ceremonial shovels.

       Students participate in a groundbreaking celebration for the West Chicago Middle School expansion. Jonathon Valdivia, Mikey Bibbs, Kendra Whelan, Tony Martin, Eric Santana, Lauren Long, Jenna Palka and Tai Bibbs gather dirt on their ceremonial shovels.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

West Chicago Middle School's 800 students gathered outside with their teachers Thursday to break ground for their school's expansion.

Eight student representatives wielded ceremonial shovels. Three students read poems. The student council president gave a speech.

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Afterward, there was a group photo taken from the roof and an ice cream social.

"It was fabulous," Superintendent Ed Leman said. "The kids were great."

West Chicago Elementary District 33 so far has borrowed $31.5 million for the project to expand and renovate the middle school. The work is expected to be finished for the start of the 2013-2014 school year, when sixth-graders will join the seventh- and eighth-graders at the school.

Students will be working on putting together a time capsule this year, but the school hasn't decided if it will be buried or just stored in the library.

A groundbreaking ceremony for community members was Thursday evening.

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