Construction begins on new Madera Unified elementary school to honor local volunteer

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A brand new elementary school is under construction in Madera that will offer high tech classrooms. (KFSN)

A brand new elementary school is under construction in Madera that will offer high-tech classrooms. It will also be paying tribute to one of the city's most loved volunteers.

There were ear to ear smiles in Madera as local officials and family members of Virginia Lee Rose helped break ground on a $32-million school. The Virginia Lee Rose Elementary School will feature state of the art technology. Serving families in a city where its namesake spent decades volunteering.

"Education was so, so, important to her. So she couldn't be blessed in a better way than having a beautiful school to help build our young people," said Margaret Ellen Graham, Virginia Lee Rose's daughter.

Lee Rose passed away two years ago. On Thursday, her family members gathered at the construction site where the elementary school will be built. They were there to remember the legacy she left behind-- and to celebrate the future school where her great, great, granddaughter will soon attend.

"She wasn't just my mom, but, she was my best friend, you know. She was the best friend to a lot of people. She cared so much about this town, I used to say, 'why do you love Madera so much,' she goes, 'because this is my home,'" said Graham.

Madera Unified officials said, in a day and age where toddlers can figure out how to use a smartphone, the school will feature LCD televisions in every classroom with the daily use of touch screen and line of motion sensing technology.

"When this school opens every student here will have access to a mobile device. It will be one to one," said Gonzales.

As crews take to the dirt to construct this multi-building campus, officials are excited for what it will bring to the community and the children here in east Madera.

"Technology has really changed the game, so teachers are no longer the repository exclusively of what is know. Kids now have that at their fingertips, so schools are recognizing that," said Gonzales.

The Virginia Lee Rose Elementary School was paid for by Measure U and will open in time for the 2017, 2018 school year.
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