Boonville R-1 School holds ribbon cutting for connector at BHS, B-Tech

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville High School Student Body President Gabe Brimer cuts the ribbon for the new connector between Boonville High School and B-Tech Thursday night. The two-year project was part of the Phase 1 project.
Boonville residents were given tours of the new connector between Boonville High School and B-Tech after the ribbon cutting on Thursday.
Boonville residents were treated to hamburgers, hot dogs and cookies after Thursday's ribbon cutting for the new connector at Boonville High School and B-Tech.

Boonville R-1 Superintendent Sarah Marriott said for many years it’s very exciting to share with the community how they are helping impact kids during Thursday night’s ribbon cutting for the new connector between Boonville High School and B-Tech.

“We’re ecstatic about the turnout for this evening,” Marriott said. “It was a great event. We had tremendous community support, but it's also great seeing the students be a part of this process and being able to participate in it. We’re  just thrilled to be able to finally reach this point. I think everybody was just excited. They’ve been hearing about it and seeing it, and I think to finally see everything kind of come to fruition and see the final project. It's better than we imagined it to be. When we really first started envisioning this project, it was just going to be a corridor. We weren't thinking classrooms, because we didn't think that we could financially do that, and then our engineering staff built this great idea, and we're so glad that we were able to invest the money into actually adding the classroom space.”

After a few songs by the Boonville Pirates Marching Band, Dr. Jim Gann, vice president of the board of education, also gave a few words before the ribbon cutting. A Boonville alum, Gann said he saw at least one classmate at the ribbon cutting from the class of 1982. He said the Class of 82 is a historical oddity in the history of Boonville school because they never attended LSE.

“What that means is the class of ‘82 spent eight years on this very ground,” Gann said. “As a third grader showing up here, little Jimmy Gann played out in this area, on our grass playground. During our fourth and fifth grade years, we got to see the Boonslick Area Vocational Technical School being built. We got to watch that happen as freshmen, and then we returned to Boonville High School in what had previously been Southwest Elementary School. We came to high school, and my other classmate that's here that I saw on the way, we both are graduates of what is now B-Tech, so we've seen this evolve over time.

“And why I tell you that story is that it took vision of you patrons to first buy the land way outside of town. In the 1960s, it took vision and investment of the patrons to build Southwest Elementary School. It took vision and investment of the patrons to build a B-Tech. It took vision and investment to build the add ons that have happened to the school since then, and the add on we have today. This was part of our vision and part of what causes vision was our need and our safety of our students.”

Gann added that prior to this connector being built, students and staff could be caught in no man's land between the buildings as the doors were automatically locked. He said you also might want to know that if you were a student at B-Tech, and there was inclement weather and they called for sheltering in place, you had to go outside to go to the high school to get in the basement, so now at least you can stay inside and be somewhat protected.

“We're so proud that we were able to do that, but tonight is all about really thanking you as the patrons and the continuance of your vision, support and investment in the in our schools for our students,” Gann said. “We thank you for your support of the projects that we've put forward, and we thank you on behalf of the students.”

Immediately after the ribbon cutting, Boonville residents were treated to hot dogs, hamburgers and cookies provided by the Boonville R-1 School District to show their thanks for supporting the project. Patrons were also given tours of the new facility, which consist of six classrooms, storage areas, new bathrooms, a entryway to the band room and trophies cases for past, present and future awards in academics as well as athletics.