Hundreds of residents, parents, staff, teachers and students, as well as Anaheim School Board members and other dignitaries attended the new Abraham Lincoln School dedication on Friday, Feb. 15. followed by a tour of the new school.
According to information provided by Anaheim School District staff, the school is located on 5.64 acres at 1413 East Broadway, has a capacity of 1,000 students, features 40 classrooms in a two-story building, including offices, a library, a food service area, a lunch shelter, an outdoor amphitheater, and playground space. It was constructed at a cost of $25.5 million.
Amid the dignitaries, special guests and speakers present at the dedication were city of Anahiem Mayor Tom Tait, Jeff Cole, President of the Anaheim Board of Education, representatives for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Senator Bob Huff, Assemblyman Tom Daly, and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, as well as members of the Anaheim City Council and city staff.
Small school tours immediately followed the ceremony throughout the day, showcasing the new facility including a multipurpose room, and administration offices were a statute of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, donated by antique collector John Spencer greets visitors.
"Besides the obvious, that it is a school which serves teachers, parents and students, it is also a great source of pride for the community," said Mayor Tait. Tait said the fact the school district felt it was important to complete construction of the school and the voters supported a tax measure, despite budgetary difficulties throughout the state in recent years, was a significant sing of support. "It shows the importance that people and our school district place on education."
The Orange County register reported voters in the district approved measure BB in 2002, a $111 million bond, and also received $70 million in state matching construction funding after approval of the bond to renovate schools that were in dire need of upgrades. In the case of Abraham Lincoln Elementary, it allowed for the construction of a modernized campus with updated technology.
Board of Education member Jose Moreno thanked the voters for supporting the BB tax measure, despite the tough economy.
"It is one of the finest schools in Orange County and we are committed to supporting it," he said.
"I think this community is well deserving of a new state of the art school," said Abraham Lincoln Principal Tammie Ledesma. "I spoke to alumni who expressed that they were almost being forgotten, and now the parents are very proud. Some parents are saying, 'We are lucky to be in your school, it's like my children go to school at a university.' I am very proud to be part of it."
Ledesma has been principal for four years, shepherding the campus through its temporary location.
"Now, here we are in our new home. I wan to thank the Lincoln community, you have always been warm, supportive and a wonderful group to serve," she said.
The new Lincoln Elementary opened its doors last month.