Eastern Elementary holds ribbon cutting

The newly, rebuilt Eastern Elementary opened to the public Monday, ahead of the new school year.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A ribbon cutting was held at the newly rebuilt Eastern Elementary school in Traverse City Monday.

The original Eastern Elementary was built in 1958.

It was an exciting night for parents who were students here years ago like Stacey O'Keefe and her husband.

"I was just in awe of the change. We have really come a long way," said O'Keefe.

Students like Lauren Nichols were also excited about the newly rebuilt school.

"It was like, it was like it wasn't real," said Nichols.

"It was beautiful like everything was totally new," added Nichols.

New in a lot of ways means safer and more conducive to learning.

"We have a clear line of sight from the school office to the front door. We have automatic door locks with power from the office to lock all of the hallway doors immediately with one switch," said Biz Ruskowski, the principal at Eastern Elementary School.

"Concepts like the library and a commons area where you just walk right out of your classroom and the books are right there I think is just invaluable to how kids are going to approach their education," said O'Keefe.

The new building has a lot of things that catch your eye. There is a lot of open work space for groups, and furniture that is not only funky but functional.

"Some stools, some stand up desks, some bicycle desks, the chairs actually rock a little bit on the top for students to kind of have a little motion if they like to have some motion everyday when they move," said Ruskowski.

Eastern Elementary is also still accepting new student enrollments.