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New Balfour Beginnings:
Kites are usually found floating high in the sky in neighborhood parks. But step into a special place on 2097 N. Asheboro School Road and look up. Kites are found soaring in the cafeteria, in the gym, and in other unusual places of Balfour Elementary School. Yet at this school, not only do the kites soar high, but so do the spirits.
The kites are just one of the unique qualities of Balfour Elementary. The school has an interesting history behind it as well.
About a year before Balfour Elementary’s opening in July of 1992, architects at Smith-Sinnett Associates were busy planning the lay-out of the school. John Sinnett, an architect working on the project, seemed to have a one-of-a-kind vision. He wanted the school to be a “retreat for children.” He wanted the drive up to the school to be a calming and soothing experience that captured the magnificent views surrounding the area. Sinnett had inviting and clear ideas, yet he graciously accepted the input of the teachers and staff from the old Balfour school.
In fact, the staff of the old Balfour school on 1738 N. Fayetteville St. played a huge part in the construction of the new school. They chose the color scheme of peach, purple, and sea foam to enhance that inviting and invigorating aura that Sinnett had envisioned. They were not only able to give their suggestions to the architectural firm in charge of the project, but they also physically chipped in. The night before the first day of school, many teachers remained at Balfour long after dark putting furniture together in preparation for the students’ arrivals.
After all the hard work was done, Balfour Elementary had a groundbreaking ceremony in its bell tower in July, 1992. Former Principal Chris Fennell and former Assistant Principal Elaine Harris joined Linda R. Cranford, Marylin S. Fowler, former Asheboro City Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob W. Gordon, and many others for the ceremony. When Fennell and Harris rang the ship’s bell in the tower, the school had officially opened, complete with both year-round and traditional programs.
Many mementos from Balfour’s unique history remain. The original bell relocated from the old Balfour school sits respectfully beneath the new bell. The shovel from the groundbreaking ceremony also lives inside the building.
Yet Balfour Elementary School’s changes are evident. A plaque dedicated to Balfour’s first year shines proudly in the new building, engraved with the phrase, “Dedicated to our children and the teachers and staff who love them.” A banner created by Ruth Allen, a former school board member, hangs in the cafeteria and symbolizes the students. The peach, purple, and sea foam serve as reminders of the beautiful views and inviting environment. And the kites, which were a gift from John Sinnett and his family, will remind staff and students of Balfour’s unique history and potential of a soaring future.
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