Pa. middle school with 50-year family legacy gets total makeover

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Thursday, September 8, 2022
Pa. middle school with 50-year family legacy gets total makeover
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Bob Windheim was in the first class of Sandy Run Middle School. 50+ years later, he is seeing the rebirth of his alma mater through his grandson's eyes.

UPPER DUBLIN TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It was the late 1960s when 8th-grader Bob Windheim became one of the first students at the newly-opened Sandy Run Middle School.

"I remember getting here and I was so impressed with the facilities, the gym, and it just was a fantastic building at the time," said Windheim.

Windheim became a dedicated member of the Upper Dublin School District community, especially through sports. Today, he serves as the president of the Upper Dublin Junior Athletic Association and coaches softball at his alma mater.

Over time, the school building became outdated and a plan was devised to construct a new facility with a budget of $76 million. Over the last three years, the project has remained under budget and ahead of schedule.

Students were able to begin classes in their brand-new building this week. And like his grandfather before him, Matthew Windheim became one of the first students to learn inside its halls.

"I think it's exciting that my grandfather opened the first Sandy Run in 1967, he passed it to my dad and my uncle, and now it's going to me," he said.

The Windheims are not the only multi-generational legacy that built the foundation of Sandy Run. Principal Dan Ortiz graduated in 1998 and his father, Juan, was a school psychologist there for 25 years.

"The building, it was too old when I started. So add on 25, 30 years from there. This is way overdue and I'm thrilled that we have this facility and I'm really thrilled that he's in charge right now," said Juan Ortiz, referring to his son.

With two gymnasiums, an enhanced cafeteria, state-of-the-art library, and STEM lab, the new facility is poised to usher middle school students into successful career paths at an early age.

"We have a lot of different places built into the building to really allow individual talents and skill sets to shine through," said Principal Dan Ortiz.

The faculty takes pride in cultivating a close-knit family that will sustain for many more generations to come. To learn more about Sandy Run Middle School, visit their website.

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