After more than a year of planning, golden shovels broke ground for construction at Canton-Galva schools Monday.
District residents voted in favor of an $8.55 million bond issue May 22, which will involve construction at two locations and allow the district to consolidate into two buildings instead of using three.
"The things that are going to happen are going to really allow growth for our students and the programs we have," Superintendent Bill Seidl said at the groundbreaking ceremonies. "We look forward to seeing how that's all going to come about."
Construction will begin immediately.
The vote, which will increase the district's tax rate from the current 3 mills to 6.81 mills, allows the district to construct additional classrooms and modify the entrances of each location, among other projects. It also allows the addition of a second gymnasium at the high school in Canton.
All construction is expected to be complete for the 2014-2015 school year. At this time, pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade classes will be in Galva, and seventh- through 12th-grade classes will be in Canton.
"It took a lot of people to get accomplished what we got here," Seidl said. "We appreciate all the time and energy you put forth to get us where we are today."
Bruce Bray, board president, echoed his appreciation for the Canton and Galva communities.
"Communities are the ones that make it happen," he said. "We kind of pushed it, but they're the ones that voted it in. This is a good thing four our district, for our community, and a really good thing for our kids."
Junior Caden Littrell, student council president, expressed his support for the project, even though his class will graduate before the project is complete.
"Everybody's really excited to see this thing happen," he said. "We're all really wanting to help improve the school district. It's been really great for me, and I know a lot of students. I'm really glad this is happening today."
Seidl said the event made the project seem more tangible.
"I don't know at this point I realize the magnitude of what this is all about," he said. "When you're sitting in meetings and doing all that stuff, we do that all the time. With the shovels sitting out there, you realize this is really going to happen."
Contact Jenae Pauls at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel