FAIRMONT - Some kids showed off their classrooms to parents and younger siblings. Others got a look at where they will be attending in the future. Still others wanted to see the improvements on where they used to go to school.
There was a lot to see Sunday during the open house for Fairmont Elementary School, which has completed construction and is ready for the 900 students that attend there.
"We're the fifth or sixth largest elementary in the state," said Superintendent Joe Brown. "Very few schools in outstate Minnesota are building buildings."
Brothers Dominic and Easton Blazejak play in the stuffed animals in Dominic’s kindergarten room at the new Fairmont Elementary during the open house Sunday.
Some of the changes he pointed out to the many who came for the ribbon-cutting and open house Sunday were the new elevator; the newly painted annex gym; the activity room near the doors, which will be a "holding area" for youngsters for their parents to pick them up after school; and the full-production kitchen, which has a sitting area for grades kindergarten through second, and another for third through sixth.
Security is much tighter with 64 security cameras - "The old elementary didn't have any," Brown said.
Anyone coming into the building needs a security card and all visitors are routed straight into the main office.
"Now it's extremely secure," Brown said.
A computer room is next to the new William Budd room, named after the old elementary, with pictures of Budd's past principals.
"We hope this room is used a lot by the general public," said Brown, who envisions organizations using it for meetings.
The new facility was getting praise from the public.
"I think it's probably a lot bigger," said Allison Jedlicka, a sixth grader. "It just looks really beautiful."
"I think it was well-needed. There was no room to expand," said her mom, Angie Jedlicka. Both her kids attended Budd School, and Angie remembers Allison doing a project in a closet.
"It's gorgeous, it's absolutely beautiful," Angie Jedlicka said of the new building.
"I like everything," said Adriana Gervais, a second grader.
"I like the new lunchroom and the new bleachers," said Colin Meadows, a ninth grader who attended Budd and the previous incarnation of Fairmont Elementary.
"The classrooms are really nice; they're brighter," said his mom, Tracy Meadows, "It's nice to have everything in one building."