January 24th marked the celebration of the completion of the Ridge Street School construction, and the grand opening of the new parts of the school. A ribbon cutting with the superintendent and board of education was held, along with tours for community members to see the time, dedication, and money that was put into the extension of the school.
The celebration was a success. Attendees were able to see the new atrium, main office, classrooms, and “courtyard,” an outdoor area where teachers and students can participate in activities beneficial to their learning experience. However, what is most impressive about the new construction is its ability to address many of the desires of teachers, students, and parents in the district. New furniture with wheels, along with more storage units in classrooms, address the concerns teachers had in their classrooms. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in new activities they did not have access to prior to the construction. One notable addition is the cafetorium: a cafeteria that also contains seats to turn into an auditorium. Also, students will be able to participate in STEM activities similar to those that the fab lab offers in the High School.
The largest relief for the district after the grand opening was the approval of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the new kitchen. Over the next few weeks, the new high-tech kitchen equipment will be shipped into the school, and new kitchen staff will be trained. Superintendent Colin M. Byrne stated in an update to the school on February 2nd, that he is working to accelerate the kitchen service process, and continues to prioritize the issue these next few weeks. Finally, for the first time since the pandemic, Ridge Street School students will soon have access to purchase hot lunches at school.
While BBHS students will not be directly impacted by some of the new extensions put in place, the end of the construction marks an important milestone in the Rye Brook community. With these new developments, the Blind Brook school district is continuing to prioritize the introduction of STEM into the classrooms, and ensure that students are in a clean and safe environment to learn and prepare for their futures in college and beyond. The district also posted videos of the opening ceremony with some views of the new construction, available on the district website.