The Watertown Elementary School project included a new 800-student dining room and kitchen area that will serve as a central point for a connector between the two current buildings. A new entrance foyer and office were added with new nurse’s station.
A new gymnasium was added to give the school a full-size gym, and classrooms were added, which include new art and music rooms.
“Through it all, we knew a new addition would happen – a new addition to our school would be under one roof – a dream come true,” said Watertown Elementary School principal Anita Christian.
Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright harkened back a few years ago to when the new Watertown High School was dedicated.
“Here we are in the little school up the road in Watertown High School,” Wright said. And here we are today looking at more than a renovation. It’s more than a facelift; it’s more than just a cosmetic finish to a new Watertown Elementary School. This is a foundation. This is a beginning where our youngsters, our children start their journey through their educational careers.”
Wilson County Board of Education chair Larry Tomlinson thanked the administration and teachers for their work in education and seeing the project through to completion.
“This will be a great talking point for our community,” Tomlinson said. “Watertown is growing. We, as a board of education, would like to feel like we’ve been a part of that.”
Tomlinson also acknowledged fellow board member Bill Robinson, who represents Watertown, for his advocacy for the city’s educational services.
“It’s truly a great day for our children – our future,” Robinson said. “That’s the main thing this is all about, and it’s what our parents have to be about. It’s what we’re all about as a school board. I hope that’s how a lot of us feel, because that’s how I feel.”
Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings, who also serves as the school board’s attorney, said he hadn’t seen the school since construction started. He said he was in awe of the work done.
“Those of you who know me know you can never have too much purple,” Jennings said. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can have too much purple, because you can’t. … Now, we have an elementary school that is unbelievable.”
The open house provided visitors the chance to tour the school’s new additions following remarks from board officials and the school’s administration.
Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall said the district would hold an open house ceremony Nov. 28 for Southside School. Southside School’s newer gym will be converted into a band room and two science labs, while the older gym will become an auditorium. A new 800-seat gym will be added to the school, along with new locker rooms and two new classrooms.