likely to bring back the old nickname, deemed inappropriate for
fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, when P.S. du Pont becomes a
middle school next year, but it was 'Dynamiters All the Way' as
grads joined current students to celebrate the makeover of the
historic building in what used to be known as Wilmington's Ninth
literally reached out to folks a generation, or two,
or three, removed.
school reopened in August after a $44 million renovation, far
and away the largest such project ever undertaken in the state.
Unlike other major renovations, however, it was not a matter of
gutting the shell and starting over. It had been decided even
before the planning began that as much of the accouterments of
the 73-year-old structure as possible would be preserved while,
as Brandywine schools superintendent Jim Scanlon put it, "we
plugged in the modern technologies."
much of the old flavor of the building was preserved as it was
brought up to current structural, operational and education
standards was evident to those who took advantage of an
invitation to roam through the four floors after the
rededication proceedings were completed. Nowhere was that more
evident than in the library where most of the signature room
remains intact adjacent to a computer lab.
than 1,000 alumni, parents and community residents turned out
for the event in Oct. 16. That was in addition to the 400 or so
students and staff members who made the evening work.
renewed 1,200-seat auditorium was nearly full.
formal presentation was anything but formal. It was conducted as
entertainment -- for the most part by the youngsters. And it was
difficult to tell whether it was the presenters or the audience
who were having more fun.
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