By Tyler Allen EBS Senior Editor

BIG SKY – With giant scissors ready and the Battle of 191 looming, the Big Sky School District on Sept. 5 officially opened the new Ophir Elementary School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The $10.2-million building was bustling with students, parents, community members and football fans – of both the Lone Peak High School Big Horns and the visiting West Yellowstone Wolverines, who played their annual rivalry game later that afternoon on the adjacent football field.

Loren Bough, chair of the Big Sky School District Board of Trustees and holding the giant scissors, along with BSSD Superintendent Dustin Shipman cuts the ceremonial ribbon to open the new Ophir Elementary School on Sept. 5. PHOTO BY THERESA DA SILVA

Loren Bough, chair of the Big Sky School District Board of Trustees and holding the giant scissors, along with BSSD Superintendent Dustin Shipman cuts the ceremonial ribbon to open the new Ophir Elementary School on Sept. 5. PHOTO BY THERESA DA SILVA

“With the new building we’re prepared for the growth in the community,” said Dustin Shipman, BSSD’s new superintendent as of Aug. 1. “It gives us the physical space to do what we’re doing better, and the space to move forward in the 21st century educational environment.”

The fast pace of growth in the community is mirrored by the growing school district. The high school plans to graduate nine students this year, while Ophir Elementary has 39 new kindergartners. The new building will house students in kindergarten through fourth grade classes.

“This is one step in the evolution to becoming the best school in the Northwest,” Shipman said.