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New school is 'just right'

March 25, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Principal Gladys Leon compared Benjamin Chambers Elementary School to the story of "The Three Little Bears."

Three elementary schools -- Mary B. Sharpe, U.L. Gordy and King Street -- came together to form what the student and faculty feel is "just right," she said.

"Each day we're moving toward our happily ever after," Leon said at the school's dedication ceremony Wednesday.

Officials might not have had an actual key to transfer during the ceremony, but they did have overwhelming spirit from the children and parents packed into the gymnasium. Students cheered, clapped, and waved to friends and family during the event, which concluded with an invitation to explore the school.

Marlyn Urbina, 7, said she wasn't scared when she transferred to Benjamin Chambers from Fayetteville Elementary School, which has a very similar layout.

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Benjamin Chambers Elementary School, which was built on the site of the old U.L. Gordy on North Franklin Street, opened in December 2008 and cost approximately $20 million.

Bailey Nicklas, 9, is learning about the solar system in his third-grade class. He previously attended Mary B. Sharpe Elementary School.

"Sharpe is very old," said Bailey, who, like others, enjoys the climbing walls at the new school.

"Sharpe did not have the climbing wall at recess. This school has a climbing wall," Bailey's classmate Kaleb Stoner said.

His favorite parts of the day are gym, recess and music.

Alternative education programs housed at the old Duffield Elementary School have been moved to Mary B. Sharpe, Superintendent Joseph Padasak said.

"Duffield is vacant and ready to go on the market," he said.

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