Thursday's groundbreaking at School No. 50 was a promise to Rochester City students. Remodeled schools and more technology is coming as it pours $325 million dollars into construction projects to remodel 12 schools.
"This is the beginning of a project that will create new options and opportunities that my students do not enjoy today," School 50 Principal Tim Mains said.
At school No. 50 principal Mains is excited about adding middle school grades and expanding for more music, art and classrooms
"It will give us facilities for the 21st century," Mains said.
The Facilities Modernization Project will cost $1.2 billion dollars in total to update 12 schools in all. The first five this summer.
School district, city and state funds make the project possible.
"I am emotionally committed to this project," Mayor Tom Richards said. "It is one of the most important things this city is going to do. And I'll be damned if I'm not going to let it happen."
Students and parents can't wait.
"I mean the city school district has a long way to go, but I think this is just an example of how they are starting to think about our children," School No. 50 parent Candice Gantt said.
"I'm most looking forward to seeing the new school and having a better learning experience," School No. 50 student D'Andre Calhoun said.
Charlotte High School will also undergo construction. It's saying goodbye to these cages in the cafeteria and hello to a new health clinic and wireless internet throughout
"Across the district I'm excited for our students," Charlotte H.S. Principal Michael Allen said.
"It will give us the kind of environment that many kids in the suburbs take for granted," Mains said. "In essence, it levels the playing field in many ways for our kids."
A project to prepare city children to better take the world by storm.
School No. 17, World of Inquiry and Benjamin Franklin High School are also part of the first phase of the project.
It should take about a year for construction. So students will get to return to a bigger and and better schools in the fall of 2013.