FORT RUCKER, Ala. (WDHN) — The Fort Rucker community has been waiting a long time to open its new elementary school building.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Ellis D. Parker Elementary School included speeches by the Parker family, esteemed military personnel, and school faculty.
The ceremony was finished in Fort Rucker style with an aircraft fly over.
“So we are very excited to celebrate today,” Parker Elementary Principal Dr. Vicki Gilmer said. “We’re celebrating this great Parker family and we’re celebrating the DoDEA organization. We have always served military families, the Parker family has been one of those families and then we got to celebrate that today with this grand opening.”
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the faculty took guests on a tour of the new school.
Some of the newest aspects are the science lab and the school banner, which was a digitized version of an old mural that hung in the previous school.
“I’ve learned in my short time as a garrison commander how difficult it is to get construction, to get military construction, or to get these buildings all the way from the idea to reality,” Garrison Commander Colonel Whitney Gardner said. “So to be here and be able to see it, it’s pretty special for me, even as a garrison commander. So I can’t imagine how exciting this is going to be for a first grader or second grader to walk through the door.”
All those in attendance made sure to wear there masks and kept distant for safety.
Even with all the extra precautions, it was a day the Parker family will never forget.
“We’re humble and proud that Fort Rucker has such a beautiful facility and to have it named after Ellis D. Parker is an honor for the family,” said Judy Parker, wife of late Ellis Parker.
Students, faculty, and staff are all excited to have students back in the classroom on Oct. 1 and are looking forward to the year ahead.