A new era in education began Tuesday afternoon at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the construction of Crawfordsville Middle School.

The Crawfordsville School Board, administration and entire Tuttle Middle School staff, as well as Mayor Todd Barton and the Design Build Team were on hand to celebrate the start of the construction process.

“I am very grateful that we are here today doing what we’re doing,” Tuttle Middle School principal Jay Strickland said to a standing room only crowd. “It is imperative that we thank the citizens of Crawfordsville for approving the public referendum to build a new building at 80 percent approval. This new building will enhance our teachers abilities to teach our children, and enhance the landscape of Crawfordsville and the pride for our schools.”

Mayor Barton said Crawfordsville showed its true colors passing the referendum.

“The people of this community spoke loud and clear when they approved this new middle school,” he said. “Today we all take a major step forward.”

School Board president Dale Petrie thanked several people near and dear to the project.

“I’d like to commend Dr. Kathleen Steele and Paul Pfledderer for their tireless efforts and countless hours spent working to make this happen,” Petrie said, commending Business Manager Scott Bowling, the rest of his board and the entire design team as well. “And to the staff of Tuttle Middle School, soon to be Crawfordsville Middle School, for their limitless love for our students.”

Throughout the presentation Steele read “gems of wisdom” from current third graders, who will be the first sixth graders in the new building. Some of them said going to school in a new building will be like attending a middle school castle, while others marveled at getting to be the first ever to sit at a desk or use brand-new lunch trays. “It’s like a reward to get to be the first,” one letter read.

“In 1906 the first Tuttle grade school was built right on that hill. In 1960 it was torn down and Tuttle Junior High was built, later repurposed to Tuttle Middle School,” Steele said. “And now on this historic ground the construction of Crawfordsville Middle School is now under way.”

Groups took turns breaking ground, with representatives from InterDesign, Hagerman Group, Ratio, Shambaugh & Son, LWC Incorporated and Deckard Engineering/Surveying, as well as the school board, administration, current third graders and staff all digging in with silver-plated shovels. Bowling summed up the afternoon in the closing of his speech.

“After two years of hard work, here we stand turning our hopes into reality as the shovels turn the soil.”

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