By Richard Mundy
For Hometown News
In the past five years, the Ormond Beach Middle School has been transformed from 28 buildings, many of which were built in the early 1960s, to a modern, state-of-the-art, well-furnished six buildings.
The complex scheduling of design, destruction of 28 buildings and construction of six new ones, all while educating 1,100 students, was carried off with a minimum of difficulties. Neither worker nor student was seriously injured during the five years it took to finish the project.
In his remarks to the students at the dedication ceremony, school principal, Matt Krajewski said, "We know that time does not stand still, and with time comes change. With change comes growth and with growth comes opportunity. What an outstanding opportunity we have been afforded this year. The opportunity to provide this community with this beautiful new school."
In an interview after his speech, he said the builders finished the buildings a week before the students came back for this school year, so the construction came in under time and under budget. "The school has approximately 1,100 students now and is capable of handling about 1,200, he said.
Mr. Krajewski called it the "crown jewel of schools."
Ormond Beach Mayor Ed Kelley told the crowd, "We realize from a city standpoint and a government standpoint, that when people move to an area (there are) two things they check out - schools and hospitals. And with those two things what a great concept this is; and anyone that is looking at middle school children, they come by here, and this is where they're going to want to locate."
In her remarks, Volusia County School Superintendent Dr. Margaret Smith said, "This school has a rich history ... and the motto of this middle school, 'The Legacy of Excellence Continues,' is very descriptive of the students, teachers, support staff and the administration. I am very proud of the accomplishments of" all of you.
Building 1 houses the main administrative complex as well as the media center, offices, clinic and staff dining rooms. Building 2 contains classrooms for 7th and 8th grades with an average of more than 900 square feet per classroom. Building 3 houses the administrative offices for student services. Building 4 is the cafeteria as well as performing and visual arts classrooms.
Building 5 is the gymnasium, including a fitness center, classroom, ticket booth and laundry. It is the only middle school in the country to have a gym with a second floor mezzanine. The gym is named for long-time physical education teacher and coach, Plemon A. Hill.
Building 6 provides career and technical education courses in state-of-the-art classrooms. Both building 3 and 6 are equipped with wireless communication and smart screen technology.
Architects for the school were Starmer and Ranaldi of Maitland and the contractor was H. J. High Construction.