Caledonia — Fifth-grader Elise Werner and her friends from Dutton Elementary put on their own plastic hard hats, grabbed shovels and helped their teachers and principal break ground on the future site of the new Dutton Elementary.
“We’re going to have brand-new classrooms,” Elise said.
Nearby, third-grader Kayla Feldpausch danced around the mound of dirt staged for the groundbreaking. Her mom, Sara, and older brother Grant, a freshman, shared in Kayla’s excitement for the new building.
Located at Patterson and 76th St., the new 60,000-square-foot elementary school will have two entrances, larger instructional spaces and a barrier-free playground that will be fully accessible to children with mobility challenges. It is scheduled to open in 2025.
Veitch said he and his staff are excited for a brand-new building that will be accessible for all students and have air conditioning.
“We have designed this new building to specifically meet our students’ needs,” he said. “From a barrier-free playground to a school building where all students can access the entire building … we can all come together as one.”
State Rep. Angela Rigas, R-Caledonia Township, said building a new Dutton Elementary is a testament to the community’s commitment to providing the best education for students.
“Today’s groundbreaking represents the dawn of a new era,” Rigas said. “This new building will provide not only state-of-the-art facilities but foster an environment where imagination can soar, dreams can be pursued and where friendship can be forged.”
Interim Superintendent Dirk Weeldreyer also thanked the community for their support and helping make Caledonia a great place to live and go to school.
Before grabbing a shovel, he said, “It’s time to start scooping dirt!”