By Michael D. Clark
Enquirer Staff Writer
LEBANON - Residents got a look at more than $50 million worth of their tax money Tuesday evening in the form of two new school buildings.
Lebanon High School and Bowman Primary held public tours of the new schools and thousands came - backing up traffic around the schools for miles - with most leaving impressed with the buildings that will welcome 4,800 Warren County students to classes beginning Sept. 8 and Sept. 13.
It's the first time in the history of Lebanon schools that the district, which now has six school buildings, has opened two schools simultaneously, said Lebanon Superintendent Bill Sears, who added that the schools are also the first new school buildings since the early 1990s.
"I'm overwhelmed," said parent Cindy Howard of the $36 millionhigh school. "This is fabulous and I really like the gym," she said of the high school athletic center that has more than double the seating capacity - 2,800 compared to 1,200 - of the old high school that is now the district's junior high.
Earlier Tuesday, the public also toured Lebanon's new Bowman Primary School on Hart Road that cost $14.7 million.
This school year the district is also converting to grade-specific buildings and Sears said the move is "about equality and giving all children the equal access to resources and its an economical way to stretch dollars."
Also on Tuesday, residents in the Butler County city of Monroe toured their new $31.2 million school on Yankee Road, which is rare among public schools in Greater Cincinnati in that all grades - kindergarten through 12 - are all within one building with wings for specific grade groupings.
Monroe's 1,550 students will begin classes Sept. 7.
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