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Roosevelt Elementary celebrates official dedication

Near the finale of Wednesday’s official dedication ceremony for Theodore Roosevelt Elementary, at least one parent in the crowd let out a grito — a celebratory yell — during the final performance of a visiting mariachi band comprised of students.

It certainly wasn’t the only rave review at the school this morning.

Roosevelt Elementary, a Vanguard school for gifted and talented students, opened the doors to its new campus building in late November 2011, more than 80 years after the school originally opened.

The two-story school serves about 750 students, and most, if not all of them, Roosevelt principal Armando Lujan said, really enjoy learning with the new technology the school now uses.

“The students love this building,” he said. “They love the SMART boards, they love the technology. They love the fact that we are able to broadcast news over the SMART boards.”

During the celebration, attendees were entertained by three different musical groups, including songs by the school’s Pre-K students and its new choir team, as well as bookended performances by the mariachi band from Jefferson Davis High School.

Inside the school, students have access to a central library and large multi-purpose room, one Lujan said was nearly unusable in the old school. The design of the school allows for more natural light inside the hallways and classrooms, results in a nearly 20 percent reduction in energy use from the previous building.

“It’s come a long way,” said Mary Morales, president of the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization and mother to two students currently at Roosevelt. “It’s like the best thing they could give these kids nowadays that we didn’t have when we were younger.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “It helps (students) out a lot more. It expands their minds a lot more. I remember when I was little, I wasn’t doing projects. Now they are.”

The school was built with approximately $16.5 million from the bond program approved by voters in 2007. Roosevelt is one of 20 new schools built with funds from that bond program.