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Grand opening held for Lincoln Elementary School

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The grand opening ceremony of the new Lincoln Elementary School building brought a gymnasium full of students and parents out to celebrate.

The event, held March 25, featured a number of guest speakers, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and a scavenger hunt for families to enjoy along with food from Southwest Foodservice Excellence and music from the World Music Ensemble.

Lincoln Elementary Principal Edgardo Castro introduced the event, and Lincoln Assistant Principal Ron Triplehorn welcomed the crowd to the new $15 million building.

Triplehorn said many of the guests had likely been through the building since students began settling in near the start of February, but insisted that guests take a tour of the new building, regardless.

“It’s a really beautiful building. The district is really proud of this building,” he said, adding that it came out better than expected.

After Triplehorn was finished with his presentation,  Gallup-McKinley County School Superintendent Mike Hyatt spoke to the crowd.

Hyatt thanked Rep. Patricia Lundstom, D-Gallup, for her support in securing the necessary funding to build the new facility.

Other city officials acknowledged at the ceremony included Dist. 1 Councilor Linda Garcia, Dist. 4 Councilor Fran Palochak, and McKinley County Commissioner Billy Moore.

“It takes all of our energy just to get the money and build beautiful buildings like this,” Hyatt said. “We need all of our legislative support, and they’ve been very supportive.”

Hyatt also gave credit to all the people behind the scenes in the construction of the building, including architects, the State of New Mexico, as well as parents, students, and staff.

“They spend a lot of hours putting in design ideas, making sure the layout looks good and is functional for students, and that it will last a lifetime,” he said.

The finished building is an exciting move for the community, staff, and parents, but especially the students, Hyatt added.

To commemorate the occasion, Hyatt told the students of Lincoln Elementary to stand up and shout a slogan they had come up with: “Good, Better, Best.” This phrase represented what the crowd was there to celebrate, Hyatt said.

“We had a good building, we got better, and we got the best building now,” he said.

Hyatt concluded his comments by saying the new Lincoln Elementary School building will be a part of the community for generations.

At the end of the ceremony, Hyatt helped the students cut the grand opening ribbon.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent