CORNING -- Severn Elementary School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning to commemorate the completion of millions of dollars of renovation work put into the building.

“This was a long time coming,” Severn Elementary Principal John Whaley said. “There haven't been any major upgrades to the building in many years. And so to have everything completed and to be able to bring the kids back in today was a big moment for the school and a big moment for the kids.”

“And the building is absolutely wonderful.”

The renovations include a three-story five-classroom addition, a new kitchen, renovated cafeteria, a renovated office suite, new pre-K room, a new front entrance with updated safety measures requiring parents to enter the building directly through the office, and a new playground which will be ready in two weeks.

“The reality is that Severn needed significant upgrades to deliver an effective 21st century education to all students,” C-PP Superintendent Mike Ginalski said. “The safety and infrastructure improvements have been significant. We are now completely wired to meet any technology needs now and in the future and now have children in appropriate spaces instead of storage closets and old locker rooms.”

“These students learn differently than previous generations and the changes allow us to meet their needs,” he added “I am extremely grateful to the community for their support in the 2014 referendum, this does not happen without the community’s support.”

Whaley said the overall aesthetic received a general upgrade in parts of the school too, which was built several decades ago.

“Several parts of the building were just updated so they don’t look like they did in 1954,” he said.

Whaley said every program, including the art and music programs, now have their own dedicated space.

Joining Whaley and Ginalski at the ceremony were Assistant Superintendents Jeff Delorme, Kerry Elsasser and Michelle Caulfield, Rep. Tom O’Mara, R-Big Flats, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, R-Corning, Corning Mayor Rich Negri, and Tom Reed spokeswoman Allison Hunt.