CHAPEL HILL – Under the gray skies, the spirits were high Saturday morning as members of the community came together to officially dedicate Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s newest elementary school, Northside.

The district’s 11th elementary school, built on a well-known and historic educational site, offers a new facility that promises world-class learning for its students. During the dedication several speakers addressed their joy in the new Northside School.  Principal Cheryl Carnahan said that the school already shows it commitment to students.

“Our school is full of friendships, positive, supportive relationships that will make life special for all of our staff and all of our students,” Carnahan said. “We have a committed, competent, and caring staff who will bring our mission alive for all of our students.”

State Representative–soon to be Senator–and former student of Northside, Valerie Foushee, says the new school is a dream people made true.

“That dream has come true, and so we say thank you to the school board, to the Town of Chapel Hill, to the commissioners, to the parents, to the staff, to the students, to everybody who not only jump started, but are now continuing the legacy of Northside Elementary,” Foushee said.

Another former student, Dave Mason, said he was honored to see the school built.

“As someone that attended this school on this historic site that shaped my mind and character, what a great honor and privilege it is to participate in the dedication of this modern and beautiful elementary school building,” Mason said.

Many people at the dedication ceremony were former students or had been involved in developing the school.  Superintendent Tom Forcella said it took several groups to make this happen.

“It takes both the facility and what goes on inside to really make the difference,” Forcella said. “And I would like to offer recognition to two different groups that were very much involved with both of that.”

Before the ribbon cutting ceremony began, people went on tours to look around at the new school that sits on the same land as that which many of them had once gone to.  After talking with several former students like Pat Mason and Dolores Clark, it is clear that the community fully backs the school.  Many of them said they were proud that the school kept the name Northside and that it was nice reminder of their time there.