Opening Day: Students move into Basehor-Linwood District’s newest elementary school
With noses and cheeks pink from the snowy weather, Basehor Elementary students were all smiles Monday morning as they walked through the doors of their new school.
Monday marked a day in Basehor-Linwood history, as the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders moved from their old school on Leavenworth Road into a new building off 155th and Hickory streets.
The snow and frigid temperatures delayed the move, which was originally scheduled to take place Jan. 6, but the transition took place smoothly. The students were dropped off at the old Basehor Elementary as usual and were bused to Basehor Elementary School 3-5 all together. District staff and administration were eagerly standing by inside the building to welcome the children.
“I’m so, so excited,” USD 458 School Board member Wynne Coleman said as she waited for the buses to pull up to the building.
As students and teachers poured into the school, they walked back to their classes to see where they would be spending the rest of the year. Shortly after, Principal Teri Boyd’s voice came over the speakers for the first time, inviting the classes to come back to the front of the school. All of the approximately 200 children lined up before the main windows to witness the ringing of a bell donated by Jerry Mussett and his family that first rang at the original Basehor Elementary School and now sits on the lawn of Basehor Elementary 3-5.
Four generations of Mussetts have been through the Basehor-Linwood district, and the newest school sits on 12 acres of land that had been in the Mussett family since 1915. As the donators of the school’s land and the school’s bell, several Mussetts attended the opening Monday and had the honor of making the 104-year-old bell sing.
Next came the Pledge of Allegiance, which the students and teachers said in unison as they looked outside the windows at the pristine American flag waving in the winter wind.
“We had a monumental day,” Superintendent David Howard said that evening at a Basehor-Linwood School Board meeting. “This was quite a moment for everyone who put so much time and effort into making this day happen. I’d like to thank the Mussetts, the board members, and staff for making this all possible.”
For some of those who made the move that day, the event incited a mixture of emotions.
“Leaving (Basehor Elementary) was a little difficult,” fifth-grade teacher Michelle Ablard said. “I have been in that room for 11 years, and have many, many fond memories of all of the students who filled room 136 with laughter and excitement. I think it was a bittersweet time for the students. Basehor Elementary is all they have known, and many were leaving behind siblings and friends. Their mood changed when we arrived at (Basehor Elementary 3-5). They were in awe of everything in the new building.”
Fifth-grade teacher Rebecca Hill echoed Ablard’s perceptions of the children’s thoughts about their new school, saying her students were eager to see and try out everything.
“The children were so excited to be in the new school,” Hill said. “They were impressed with the flexible learning spaces, and can’t wait to try out the new playground equipment. My favorite comment from a student was when he entered the boy’s bathroom, I overheard him say, ‘Oh my gosh! This is even bigger than my bedroom!’”