COMMERCE – The Commerce Board of Education officially marked the completion of its new middle school with an evening open house Tuesday, Dec. 5, welcoming the parents and community to view the new facility.

"We wanted to be able to provide an opportunity for everyone to walk through. We usually have an open house before school, but there were odds and ends that tied things up. It is later than expected but we are excited!" said Commerce Middle School principal Jack Kelly.

The CMS students in attendance at Tuesday's open house had only good things to say about the new school and all its amenities.

When asked what they loved about the new middle school 7th grader Owen Rushin said it was the science lab while 8th grader Aiddenn Vanatta said it's the gym for him and being able to have games and practice without having to go the high school.

"What I like about our new school is that we have more room and we don't have to walk outside to go to the cafeteria or other classrooms," added CMS 8th grader Kooper Blunk.

The new 23,848 sq. ft., $4.6 million facility replaces one that was built in 1935.

Voters approved an $8.45 million bond issue in April 2016, to fund the construction projects. The bonds are expected to be paid off in approximately 10 years.

The new middle school was designed by TriArch Architecture from Tulsa, and the construction managed by Crossland Construction Company, Inc. from Columbus, Kansas.