A NEW campus for the new school year.

Yesterday, hundreds of students in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City started the school year exploring a new campus that local officials say is "a dream finally realized."

The Cebu City Central Extension School opened its doors this morning to 400 students who have been eager to move without fear of being late or sideswiped by vehicles.

Before this building was constructed, students in the area who were enrolled at the City Central School on Osmeña Blvd. corner N. Bacalso Ave. had to walk some 15 to 20 minutes to go to school, which was about a kilometer away. To get to City Central School, these students had to pass several busy streets.

Partnership

The four-storey, 12-classroom facility was built through the partnership of the Cebu City Government, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) and Department of Education (DepEd).

After the agreement was signed last year, the City Government purchased the private lot for P10 million.

Rafi financed the construction while DepEd facilitate the process of making the school an independent campus.

Parents relieved

Before the P17-million facility opened its doors today, a flag ceremony was held that was attended by Rafi and City Government officials.

Students, clad in old and new uniforms, stood bright-eyed and fidgety in rows. They brought backpacks stuffed with school supplies as their parents looked after them in the corner.

“I no longer have to worry about my children having to cross the street by themselves,” said Jojie Llemera, 46, whose two children used to attend Cebu City Central School.

Llemera said she was grateful for the construction of the new campus in Barangay Ermita, which is the first school in the village. "This has been our dream for so long. Now it's finally here,” she said.

For now, the campus is accepting only Kindergarten to Grade 3 students, said school principal Lyra Illaga.

Illaga said each classroom can hold 50 students. It is well-ventilated, and has its own lavatory and comfort room.