Okmulgee Public School held a ground breaking ceremony at the location for the new Band Building that will begin construction this year. A large group turned for the occasion. The Okmulgee Showpiece marched in and began to play which kicked off the ceremony.
Superintendent Tod Williams gave a virtual walkthrough of the floorplan for the new building, “Today we celebrate the patrons and citizenry of Okmulgee coming together to support their community and school…. This project will take about 11 months to complete, it will be a great project to come and watch.”
School Board member Mike James led the Pledge of Allegiance and the band played the National Anthem to open.
School Board President Rod Wiemer said, “This is very well deserved. A quarter of the students belong the band and that is outstanding. Next year we will also have the seventh and eighth graders in their new location and so we will have seventh through twelfth grades utilizing the band building. All they will have to do is walk across the street, which I believe for Mr. Helms (band instructor) will be a dream come true.”
High School Principal Jeremy Ramsey said,”Today shows the dedication of these students as this is the last day of high school for them and it’s 3:30 and I am sure that some of their friends are running around doing something fun, but they still showed up for this important occasion which says a lot.
“Anytime I see that Showpiece Wagon going down the highway it makes me excited, so I am just thrilled to see what it will be like and look for more great achievements from the Okmulgee band, Bulldog Rising!,” said School Board member Mark Tuttle.
Deputy Superintendent Renee Dove addressed the band students and let them know they are about to experience something that will feel like a piece of college, “you will be able to close those doors and practice and prepare yourself, so when you get those scholarships and we prepare you to be college and career ready, it will not be a shock to you when you show up in those big band rooms on whatever college campus you decide to go to. So I strongly recommend that you take part in any part of this that will be here. Thank you public for passing the bond to provide this type of education for our children. It is just A+ the best that we can give.”
“I have been telling our students that this is part of Okmulgee’s history in the making, so why would they not want to be here. It is something I am proud of and they should be too,” said Rusty Helm Okmulgee Band Director. “I just thank everyone for their support.” Helms said that the program has grown from 50-55 students to 100 band students.
The actual groundbreaking (with a backhoe) is scheduled for May 30th.
Photos by Allen Gardner - ONN