by Lisa Tome
Although the building won't be open to students for another 10 months, the Perryville Panda pride is already on display.
The under construction Perryville Elementary School building has a unique feature on the side of the building.
A Panda, the school's mascot, has been created in brick. Perry Willis, Executive Director for Support Services for Cecil County Public Schools, explained how that came to be. He said that about three years ago, during a visioning meeting regarding the school, it was determined that a "caring, nurturing, and community pride theme" was desired. Incorporating the panda into the building was the architect's vision for helping to create that environment.
The brick panda is on the part of the building which will be the gymnasium. The school bus loop will be entered next to that building each day. "I think it will be well-received," said Willis.
He also said that the project is on time, on schedule, and on budget. The contractor is expected to complete the work by the end of May 2016. The building will then be cleaned up and move in will be held in preparation for students to attend classes at the end of August.
During the construction, Perryville students are assigned to attend Bainbridge and Charlestown elementary schools.
For now, the Perryville building will be the only school with a brick work mascot.
The plan is to also include this feature at Gilpin Manor Elementary when that building is renovated. Gilpin's mascot is a dolphin.