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The Star Democrat: Ground broken for new school

EASTON — A groundbreaking ceremony for a new Easton Elementary School was held Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 4:30 p.m. behind the Moton building. Approximately 50 people, comprising of community officials and Talbot County citizens, gathered under a white tent to listen to remarks made by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kelly Griffith, Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot, President of Talbot County Council Jennifer Williams and Walter Black. After the ceremony, Griffith invited community officials, and then nearly everyone, to be photographed wearing construction gear, shoveling into a lengthy pile of dirt on the lawn nearby. “It is a celebration of the past, and a celebration for the future with this well deserved project for our children, and our staff and this community,” Griffith said. “This is a ceremony that marks an important moment in the rewriting of history of the Dobson Building and the Robert Moton building,” she said. “I am confident that the school will make opportunity of this building.” Griffith included comments from a phone call she made to Edward Dobson’s eldest son, Vincent Dobson. “I am truly humbled and grateful for this community to the love shown through the project and keeping the name of my father in the building is absolutely amazing,” said Vincent Dobson. “My father was my fourth grade teacher, my principal, my mentor and my best friend. I miss him every day.” Before Franchot delivered his remarks, he presented two medallions to State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon and to Griffith. “I think this groundbreaking represents a lot more than just beginning a new construction project, it marks a turning point in Talbot County,” Franchot said. “It moves beyond the symbols left when people were reviewed frankly by the color of their skin rather than by their character.” “A quality education is a fundamental right for every child in Maryland, they deserve it, they expect it, it’s incumbent upon us as officials to make sure that they receive it,” he said. “This building reflects unwavering commitment to ensure that all children, regardless of the zip code or the financial background of their families can learn that safe and healthy environments that are conducive to their growth and success.” Williams informed the audience that leaders and educators Robert Russa Moton and W. Edward Dobson will be honored through a memorial garden in front of the new building, to include historic plaques noting their many accomplishments. Also, a classroom in the media center will be dedicated to them, extending their legacy in the new elementary school. The room will include items of the historic nature associated with their accomplishments, Williams said. Beyond the new building, Williams remarked that what truly matters is the students, teachers, administrators and unsung heroes who care for the building and ensure students’ needs are met. She gave special thanks to TCPS Plant Operations and Maintenance Manager Kevin Shafer for his tireless efforts working on the project. Black contributed to the ceremony by recounting Easton’s once segregated schools, and the path to which the town has taken to the current day. He said the new, incoming state of the art building is very deserving to serve all students. The total cost of the replacement project is about $52 million, of which Talbot County is providing $30 million, according to officials. The new building will be about 128,000 square feet, providing new spaces ranging from classrooms to cafeterias, gymnasiums and libraries. Easton Elementary Moton Building was built in 1953 and is the system’s oldest building. Easton Elementary Dobson Building was built in 1958. Both buildings were renovated around 27 years ago, according to the Comptroller’s Deputy Press Secretary Barbara Sauers.

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