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Tawanka celebrates a new building
During the first of two back-to-school nights at Tawanka Elementary School on September 8, a group of dignitaries gathered in front of the new building and cut a blue and red ribbon with school scissors to officially pronounce it open. The ceremony was a recognition of an opening process that started in early August with a Tawanka community picnic, an open house in mid-August, orientations for kindergarten and first-grade students in late August, and finally the first days of school for students August 31 (for kindergarten) and all other students on September 1.
Construction on the 40-classroom building started during the spring of 2015 with the demolition of the old Tawanka Elementary School nearby on the same site. The old school was built in 1964, and most recently had served as instructional space for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (which moved to the former Everitt Elementary School in Levittown). The new $33 million facility was a key part of the district's Road Map plan, designed to replace three aging elementary school buildings with this one new one, and also modernize the remaining elementary and middle school buildings in the district with new energy-efficient heating, air conditioning, lighting, windows, insulation, security and other building upgrades.
All students from the former Lower Southampton Elementary School and some from the former Oliver Heckman Elementary School and Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School are attending the new Tawanka Elementary School. The remaining students from Heckman are attending Pearl S. Buck Elementary School this year.
The ribbon cutting was just the first celebration for opening the new building and the rebuilding of a strong Tawanka school community. A dedication ceremony to be held in the spring is also planned, and will involve many more of those that made the school possible as well as those who use it every day, including the staff members, students, Lower Southampton Township officials, community members, as well as District officials and School Board members.
Visit the Tawanka construction web page for photos and videos of the building process.