Students, staff settle into new dome school

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 27, 2003

Grand Meadow's held its grand opening for its dome school Nov. 10. The students and faculty are still all smiles four months later in their unique, clean and spatial school. The school may resemble a space station from the outdoors, but inside it is homey and comfortable with its carpeted halls.

Five domes make up the school. One of the domes houses the library and communication center. Librarian Charles Sparks is in his first year as school librarian at Grand Meadow. He was retired from Fillmore Central and was enticed out of retirement to come to Grand Meadow.

"It has been fun to be part of the opening of the new school. It's so nice and so much bigger than the old school. The dome in the library reminds me of a cathedral or the state capitol building," Sparks said.

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The students at Grand Meadow echo Sparks' remarks about the school. They remember watching the domes inflate more than a year ago when the school was being built. The students, parents and teachers were also the ones that moved the equipment from the old school.

"Lots of people come and take pictures of our school. It is so big and nice," fifth-grader Cory Greenwood said.

An annual event that has been held for 39 years in the Grand Meadow Schools will be on from 7 to 9:45 p.m. March 8. This is the school's winter carnival. Originally the carnival was started to provide scholarships for students. Jim Hopp, the athletic advisor has been in charge of the carnival for several years.

"For the seniors to get a scholarship, they have to have a certain grade point average and they have had to worked at the carnival for three out of their four high school years. We used some of the money from the carnival in the past to purchase stage curtains at the old school. Last year we used $40,000 of the money from the carnival fund to help purchase the playground equipment at the new school," Hopp said.

The winter carnival is usually a financial success in that they have raised about $5,000 at past ones. The carnival is traditionally held the weekend of the state hockey tournament because Grand Meadow doesn't have a hockey team. Only twice in its 39-year-old history has it been postponed because of weather. Last year it was postponed until Sunday because of a blizzard. Hopp hopes things run smoothly this year.

"Our carnival is open to the public and we have drawn up to 800 people in the past. We have donations from area businesses and have a small silent auction. The kids run all the games and concessions," Hopp said.

Besides the upcoming carnival, on Monday Grand Meadow Elementary will be celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday. Parents, teachers and high school students will be involved in this afternoon of reading and games.

The high school chef class are making cookies in the shapes of fish in honor of the book, "One fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." The children will be decorating the cookies. The children have colored paper Cat in the Hat hats and written their favorite Dr. Seuss books across the top. All the elementary teachers will be wearing Cat in the Hat hats. The high school drama class will be putting on skits and teaching acting lessons to the lower grades.

Connie Goergen, a second grade teacher who has taught at Grand Meadow for 15 years is chairing this event.

"The teachers will be doing a choral reading of Dr. Seuss material. Principal Stadum will read a Dr. Seuss book. All the activities we will be doing will have a theme of Dr. Seuss books," Goergen said.

Sheila Donnelly can be reached at 434-2233 or by e-mail at