The community is welcome to attend a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate the new Constance Lane Elementary School. The ribbon cutting is at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, followed by a community open house until 5 p.m. Constance Lane Elementary staff will host a back-to-school open house for students and their families from 5-7 p.m.
Overflow parking will be set up at the UW Health Sports Factory. An RPS 205 bus will shuttle guests to and from Constance Lane Elementary from the upper level parking lot at the Sports Factory.
About the new school:
Location: 620 Gregory St., Rockford. It serves students who live in the former Kishwaukee Elementary and Nelson Elementary school zones.
Size: 86,000 square feet
Grades: Kindergarten through fifth grades
Cost: $17.7 million; The school was paid for through voter-approved bond sales.
Features: The school features flexible seating and collaboration spaces, water bottle filling stations and a state of the art tornado shelter.
About Constance Lane: Constance Lane Elementary School is named for Constance Renick Lane, the first black teacher hired in Rockford Public Schools in 1954. She was an educator and administrator for more than 30 years. She retired from RPS 205 in 1985 as an assistant superintendent for elementary education. She died in 2000. The school colors are black and yellow, the same as West Virginia State College – now West Virginia State University – where Lane received her bachelor's degree in education in 1943. The mascot at the elementary school and university are both the yellow jackets.
Background information: This is the second new elementary school in RPS 205; Cherry Valley Elementary School opened in 2018. Building two elementary schools is part of a board-approved facilities plan to upgrade RPS 205 buildings and shrink the district's footprint. The School Board approved an updated 10-year facilities plan in August 2014, based on in-depth analysis and community input. That plan outlined closing eight buildings and building 13 elementary school additions and two new schools.