The new $18 million Rollins Place Elementary School, at 4488 Rollins Place, is set on a 69-acre tract of land and shares space with Zachary Early Learning Center for PreKindergartners.
Rollins Place Elementary is a 105,000 square foot building that will teach first- and second-graders within the district.
Teachers and workers have been busy in recent weeks moving furniture in, setting up classrooms and installing equipment to ensure students had a great first day at RPE.
"The children walked in with big eyes," said Superintendent Scott Devillier. "I don't think they learned anything the first day, but they definitely enjoyed their new school. It's a beautiful building."
Currently, there are about 400 pupils each in the first- and second-grades, and the new school, with its 42 classrooms, can hold up to 1,000 students.
In addition to the 42 classrooms, Rollins Place has a cafeteria with stage, indoor physical education space, a library/media room and music and art areas.
First-graders were attending Northwestern Elementary, which now becomes an all-kindergarten facility, and second-graders were attending Zachary Elementary.
ZES Principal Jennifer Marangos will now serve in her new role as principal of Rollins Place, and Copper Mill Principal Dewey Davis moves into Marangos' spot at ZES.
Keisha Thomas, formerly assistant principal at Copper Mill, will serve as its new principal.
"The first day at Rollins Place was fantastic. Everything went very smoothly, and it was so special to see the looks of amazement on the childrens' faces as they explored their new school," Marangos said.
Marangos thanked the central office and the teachers for their hard work in getting everything ready. "Thank you, parents, for your wonderful cooperation during this transition, and thank you, community, for providing this beautiful school for our children."
"Everything went smoothly on opening day, it really is a beautiful building, and I know the parents and the community are anxious to see it," said Devillier.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the district will celebrate the opening of Rollins Place with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at 6:30 p.m. "There will also be tours given of the new facility," Devillier said.
Rollins Place Elementary was designed by architect Henry Carville of Bani, Carville and Brown, and it was funded by the most recent $40 million construction bond approved by voters in 2010.