WEIRTON - Area residents received their first official opportunity to get a peek inside the new Weirton Elementary School Sunday.
An open house was offered, allowing those interested to take an early look throughout the classrooms, hallways and other facilities of the school set to open in the fall.
"We've had a lot of people come through," Superintendent Suzan Smith said as she greeted residents.
GETTING A CLOSEUP LOOK — Thousands of area residents were able to get an early look at the new Weirton Elementary School Sunday as part of an open house organized by Hancock County Schools officials. The school is set to open this fall, and will have a dedication on Aug. 10. --- Craig Howell
Attendees were invited to take guided tours of the school, led by several of the teachers, or walk the halls on their on with assistance from a handout available at the front door.
"It's been continuous since 10 a.m.," said Principal Frank Carey.
He estimated that by 1 p.m. - the halfway mark for the open house - there had been between 2,500 and 3,000 people arriving to tour the school.
Carey, who currently is at Weirton Heights Elementary, will be the head principal at the new school. Andrea Dulaney, currently at Broadview, will be assistant principal overseeing the pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade areas, while Stephanie Brown, currently at Liberty, will be assistant principal for second-, third- and fourth-grades.
On Sunday, residents were able to look at the cafeteria and gymnasium areas, the centralized administration wing and many of the classrooms, computer labs, art room and kitchen area. Also available to tour was the health care center, which will have a separate entrance and be operated by C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc.
Weirton Elementary has room for approximately 950 students. Current plans are for five pre-school classrooms, 10 kindergarten classes, eight first-grade classes, seven second-grade classes, seven third-grade classes and seven fourth-grade classes.
There will be five speech therapists, nine resource teachers, three Title I teachers and four rooms for students with special needs. A prevention resource officer from the Hancock County Sheriff's Department will be stationed at the school.
An official dedication for the school is scheduled for Aug. 10, with state officials and other guests expected to be in attendance.
(Howell can be contacted at email@example.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)