DURHAM — Local residents and those from surrounding communities and former students are invited to a public ribbon cutting, dedication and tour of the new $22 million elementary school from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Durham Community School, a 28-classroom school for students in kindergarten through grade eight, will open its doors to the public for the first time with guided tours by seventh and eighth grade students, assisted by community volunteers. Light refreshments will be served.

The new state-of-the-art 85,000-square-foot facility, located on an 11-acre parcel of land at 654 Hallowell Road, features geothermal heating and cooling and a peaked roof, both of which residents voted to fund locally at a cost of $2 million over and above the $20 million approved and funded by the state.

The new school will offer a wide array of academic learning opportunities and classroom enhancements for students as well as a private spacious campus setting for physical education programs and outdoor learning experiences in science and art.

Inside, the library, classrooms, computer lab and gymnasium have been enhanced to accommodate the needs of all students.

Although located on the same lot as the former elementary school, which was recently demolished, it sits much further away from the road, with large paved and striped parking lots, ball fields and lawns.

The Aug. 24 ceremony is under the direction of RSU 5 event coordinator Monica Millhime. For further information, call 353-8966, 353-9333 or 865-0928, ext. 5.

For those who cannot attend the new community school formal ribbon cutting and open house on Aug. 24, there will be a special open house from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. No program is planned.

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