Melanie Brubaker Mazur/Pine River Times
It was a day of thanks and excitement at Bayfield Elementary School.
Students are anticipating the prospect of a new playground, library and cafeteria at their existing school, as well as the construction of a new campus for third through fifth grades near Bayfield Middle School.
Work started there earlier this spring, and a groundbreaking for the renovation at the existing school was held Tuesday afternoon.
Students cheered when members of the student council started digging up dirt.
The entire project will cost nearly $39 million.
The district received a state grant for $8.5 million to help pay for construction.
“Thank you, citizens of Bayfield,” Brad Foutz told students, staff and town residents who gathered Tuesday. Foutz is co-president of the student council.
BES students were encouraged to go home and thank their parents and neighbors for voting for the bond issue that was approved in November to cover construction costs.
Principal Diane Sallinger told students they will be able to show their school and the new facility to their own children and talk about the groundbreaking.
Planning on the project started about five years ago, Superintendent Troy Zabel said.
The groundbreaking was one of his last actions as superintendent, as he is retiring at the end of June after battling brain cancer for the past year.
Students gave him a standing ovation to thank him for his six years of service as superintendent.