"We have created a space for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders that is more of a home," said Parker, the head of school. "Just as 4-year-olds need a space, so do middle-schoolers."
Kristi Cumming, chair of the Park City Day School board of trustees, said that when the board decided to develop the building, they did so because it is up to the board to carry the mission of the school and expand the minds and bodies of its students.
Lindsay Wellman, middle school director, spoke about the bracelets that the middle school students wore to remind them of their individual goals as well as to tie them together as a community. She then thanked the board of trustees.
"I would like to highlight how grateful we are for a special place to hold our special students," Wellman said.
Miner-Farra, associate head of school, had the audience turn and face the projector screen she had pulled out for Shaun Roberts and Paige Anderson to give a special PowerPoint presentation for the occasion.
Two seventh-grade students and student government representatives of the marketing committee, Roberts and Anderson's presentation highlighted what they listed as the "Top 5 Amazing Things About the New Middle School."
The first of the five is an area called "the commons." It is an open area stocked with colorful rugs, couches, tables and chairs where students can gather after school and work on homework or projects.
The second is the "open, spacious lockers" that fit their entire backpacks. Roberts said the lockers before were "loud and noisy" as well as small. The third is the large cafeteria where the students can socialize with other grade levels.
"During lunch, the entire middle school can get together, and it makes it easier to socialize, talk and have fun with the other grades instead of just our own," Anderson said.
The fourth is the science lab where Roberts was excited to have enough space to dissect a lamb brain later in the week. She said that last year, students only performed one science experiment with water due to the small space in the original building.
Lastly, the two praised the student government, which "allows everybody to have a say." The student government consists of three committees - school culture, marketing and sustainability - with two representatives each to help implement the ideas of the committees to have a "more student-run school."
When the presentation was over and the ribbon was cut, the students, teachers and parents walked down the road to the multi-purpose room in the main building, where Academic Dean Melanie Pickens hosted an assembly focused on a new technology initiative.
Pickens explained to students and parents how the new technology - Apple iPads, Macbook Pros and iMacs - were not going to take the place of instruction but complement traditional teaching.
"From the stone age to the space age to today - what is our future?" Pickens asked of the audience in her slideshow presentation.
"We will teach our teachers how to use technology to enhance the learning process and enhance the student's ability to demonstrate knowledge," Miner-Farra said.
After the assembly, students celebrated with juice and cake as well as an apple with a green, construction paper leaf that read "BYTE into an Apple." Miner-Farra said it was the official Apple slogan from the 1970s when the company was advertising early computer models.
With a new middle school building and new technology, Miner-Farra is confident that the Park City Day School is poised for future success.
""[The students] have been using [these tools] all their lives, know how to use them, and they are going to figure out ways of using them that we don't even anticipate," Miner-Farra said. "It's that partnership that we are looking for."