The groundbreaking for the new Early Elementary School was ceremonial, but real work on facility will begin soon — very soon.

Located on Sudderth Drive, across the road from the Early Middle School, plans call for the 50,000-square-foot school to be substantially completed in time for move-in over Christmas break 2008, and completely finished by mid-February 2009.

Most of the Early Elementary School faculty attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, and though the activity was brief, the mood was upbeat.

“It’s a happy, happy day,” said Board President Shawn Russell. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

Board members reconvened for their regular session meeting at the Early Independent School District’s administration building, and took action on another “big happening” for the district. The Early BEST Club presented the district with a $420,000 contribution to go toward the construction of an indoor athletic facility or “Big Room.”

The club organized four years ago and had a Nov. 15 deadline to come up with $350,000 or have the project postponed indefinitely. Best Club members Doug Chandler, David Reid and James Adams presented the $420,000 which is an addition to $10,000, already handed over to the school district. Those funds will also be added to $400,000 made available through the district.

RBR Construction of Weatherford got the construction bid for the Big Room, and the district has begun the negotiations for a guaranteed maximum price on the facility.

In other business at Thursday’s meeting, the board approved schematics on the high school renovations. Bids will go out for that project on Dec. 11, and construction could start as early as Jan. 28. According to the schedule the high school renovation by Aug. 22, 2008, the high school renovations should be substantially complete.

Things didn’t go so smoothly for the relocation of the football stadium. The board held a long discussion of the placement of the home side concession stand and ultimately did not approve the schematics for the new field.

Also on Thursday the board approved the purchase of the Kennedy Tire building. Plans are that it will be converted to house the district’s bus barn and administrative offices as well. The current administration building will be offered for sale.