Hanceville Elementary School cuts ribbon on new cafeteria, classrooms

Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, Hanceville Elementary School Principal Stacie Olinger, Cullman County School Board members and others participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. (Tiffany McKoy)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. –Hanceville Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon debuted the new addition to its building that includes a new cafeteria and 15 new classrooms. Ground was broken in November 2021.  

Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette stated, “We’re really excited to be able to provide this facility for our students because the building that they’re moving out of is currently the oldest building in our school system; it goes back to 1936.”

The new section of classrooms also features a state-of-the-art tornado shelter that can safely accommodate all the students in the school and withstand 120 mph winds, according to school officials.  

The completion of the new addition to the school building has brought much excitement and relief to everyone involved. Hanceville Elementary School Principal Stacie Olinger said she is excited for the students to see the new lunchroom. The decision was made to add a unique feature: few booth-style seats. Olinger said that this will be an incentive for kids to behave so they can get booth seats at lunchtime.

“They have one lunchroom that they shared K-12 and they were starting to lunch at 9:40 in the morning going to 1:30 in the afternoon. So now they have the capacity here to feed all 600 elementary students through this one. The other lunchroom will be used from middle school and high school so we can get on a regular lunch schedule,” Barnette explained.

Olinger said she is looking forward to having her teaching staff be able to focus solely on teaching instead of various maintenance issues.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs through the whole building process, but it’s been 100% worth it and well worth the wait. We have grown together as a faculty,” Olinger smiled.