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Laird School Celebrates Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting

Post Date:07/29/2016 3:41 PM

"The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave and feels even better to come home." - Wendy Wunder

LairdRibbonCutting_Building_400x244The Laird Leopards “came home” on Thursday, July 28 after being housed off site at Meyer School for the previous year. Students, families, community members, staff, and administrators came together to celebrate the grand opening of Laird School, which has been rebuilt into a state-of-the-art facility.

Laird School Principal Dr. Nancy Uxa beamed with pride at the grand opening ceremony and expressed excitement about the impact the new school will have on current and future students.

"The new Laird School will better meet the needs of our students as well as our community," said Principal Uxa. "We look forward to the first day of school when we will begin learning in our new state-of-the art school.”  

The new building consists of 28 classrooms and two project-based learning Labs for art and science. In addition, the campus also includes “flex” areas for collaborative learning, high and low windows for natural light, a community garden, and a “One-Button Studio” green room for school announcements and student video projects. The rebuild of Laird School was funded through voter-approved bond money from 2009.

"As a direct result of the deep generosity of our taxpayers, we are honored and thrilled that generations of our Laird students will be able to experience learning in an innovative, creative, and engaging learning environment,” said Tempe Elementary School District Superintendent Christine Busch. “In designing our new school to blend seamlessly with the North Tempe Multi-Generational Center, Tempe Elementary School District will be a critical partner in the transformation of North Tempe and in creating a critical learning hub for the community where learning knows no boundaries.”

LairdRibbonCutting_RibbonCutting_400x244It was a packed house in Laird School’s multi-purpose room where the ribbon cutting ceremony took place. Principal Uxa commenced the ceremony by thanking staff, parents, and students for their flexibility during the building and renovation phase. An overwhelming round of applause was also given to Concord General Contracting and DLR Group for their help in designing and building the school.

“Thanks to these two companies, our dream school has been made a reality,” said Principal Uxa.

Kelsie Koelsch and Phil Zeilinger, who are members of the Laird family, and current Laird students cut the ribbon, ceremoniously kicking off the beginning of a new school year. Lola Amanonce, first-grade student at Laird, cut the ribbon with help from sixth-grader Robert Granillo and seventh-grader Jatavius Jackson.

Dawn Bushman, workstation support specialist for the District, was one of the attendees at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Bushman attended Laird School from kindergarten through sixth-grade and later worked as a computer lab assistant at the school for seven years.

“This is Laird School 2.0,” said Bushman. “Everyone I have talked to is over-the-moon with the outcome of the school. It successfully meets the needs of current and future students for many years to come.”

LairdRibbonCutting_GovBoard_400x244Special guests at the ceremony included Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, Tempe Elementary Governing Board President Rochelle Wells, Vice President Teresa Devine, Governing Board Members Jim Lemmon and Patrick Morales, and Tempe Elementary Superintendent Christine Busch.

“On behalf of the Tempe community, we cannot thank you enough for your support in the development of this school,” said Mayor Mitchell, “We’re excited to have everyone here to celebrate the Laird Leopards!”


About Laird School

Laird School opened in 1965 as a K-6 elementary school. Laird School, Tempe Elementary’s only school north of Tempe Town Lake, has evolved and expanded with the times. Beginning as a K-6 school, it housed one of the first District computer labs, focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities, and in the early 1990s, welcomed students from 26 countries who spoke 24 languages. Laird’s expansion in 2009 as a K-8 school has solidified the sense of family and community that is a part of Laird. Visit and follow us on Facebook at

About Concord General Contracting

Concord is a progressive and innovative company driven by their culture and values, sustained through accountability and teamwork leading to consistent and profitable growth. Within their 40-year history, Concord has embraced the use of technology in their day-to-day business, encouraged creativity among clients and staff, and focusing their efforts on creating the ultimate client experience on each of their projects. Their team maintains strong relationships throughout the community and supports organizations that are key to building successful communities and partnerships. “The new Laird School is the perfect example of working as a team to take learning to the next level. Involving students in the construction process as part of their curriculum throughout the year was an experience that generated excitement for the entire project team and brought real-life experiences to their studies. Working as a team with Tempe Elementary and DLR Group building a new 21st century learning environment within the heart of an established and active community was an amazing experience that will serve as a symbol of pride in our firm for years to come,” said Grenee Celuch, Community Liaison, Concord General Contracting, Inc.

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About DLR Group

Founded as an architecture and engineering firm, DLR Group celebrates 50 years in 2016. DLR Group serves clients through the integrated delivery of planning, architecture, engineering, interiors, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. Core areas of design expertise include Civic, Courts, Detention, Energy Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Hospitality, K-12 Education, Retail, Sports, and Workplace. Our promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge, and is an initial signatory to the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment. Visit and follow us at Twitter and LinkedIn.