WEIRTON - Recently, many Weirton area residents had the opportunity to look back at their childhood and take one final tour of three elementary schools set to close at the end of the current school year.
Now, they will have a chance to look into the future of education in the community.
The Hancock County Board of Education has scheduled a public tour of the new Weirton Elementary School, to take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18.
Superintendent Suzan Smith explained the tour is an opportunity for residents to walk the halls of the new school, located on Pennsylvania Avenue, before it opens in the fall.
"We've had so many people wanting to see it," Smith said.
With only around 200 parking spaces on the school property, though, the school board is making arrangements to shuttle interested residents from nearby Starvaggi Memorial Park.
The public tour of Weirton Elementary is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18. The school officially will be dedicated Aug. 10.
"We'll have three buses running," she explained.
Weirton Elementary School features designated areas for the various grade levels, with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in one section of the first floor, first and second in another, and third and fourth located on the upper floor.
The building also will feature two gymnasium areas, both with wooden floors.
"We're one of the few elementary schools in the state to have it," Smith said.
The new school will replace the closing Weirton Heights Elementary, Broadview Elementary and Liberty Elementary. Smith said there currently are just over 900 students between the three schools, and the new school has enough space for 950 students.
Frank Carey, currently principal at Weirton Heights, will be the head principal of Weirton Elementary, with Andrea Dulaney from Broadview and Stephanie Brown from Liberty serving as assistant principals.
An official dedication for the new school currently is planned for Aug. 10.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)