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The students of Crockett Elementary School completed their first day on Monday in their new 74,909 square foot building.

Construction on the $11.9 million dollar project was completed in December on Girard Avenue at the site of the original Crockett Elementary, built in 1952. During demolition and construction, students were attending school in the old Bowie Elementary facility, on Texas 123. A new Bowie Elementary, also on Texas 123, opened in August 2006.

Crockett Elementary Principal Rick LaBuhn said the school’s 707 students and 86 staff members are quickly adjusting to considerably better facilities, which include a library, gymnasium and cafeteria.

“So far everything has gone smoothly. Everyone is just so glad to be in the new facility. We are just so thankful to the community and the school board for providing the building for us,” LaBuhn said.

Parents arriving Monday afternoon to pick up their kids after school seemed just as pleased. “It is wonderful. You can tell the students are excited about it,” said Marie Navarro, whose daughter attends Crockett.

Allen Meyer said his daughter was excited about the first day in the new building.

“She just jumped out of bed. Usually we have to push her a little, but not today,” Meyer said.

The facility was financed as part of $122.7 million in bond funds approved by San Marcos school district voters in 2004. Bonds for the Crockett project were originally sold in 2004 and refinanced later at a lower interest rate.

Supplemented with another $14.3 million approved last year, Crockett’s opening is the latest in the district’s $137 million capital improvement program including four new and five renovated campuses plus a maintenance and transportation facility.

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