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Groundbreaking held for elementary named in honor of Dr. Christine Grant

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NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -

A new elementary school that honors a pioneer of women's athletics is breaking ground in a bustling eastern Iowa area.

A ceremony was held on Tuesday on the future sight of Grant Elementary in North Liberty. The school comes after the district's historic $191.5 million school bond.

"This is the sixth school within our community boundaries. I think it really shows the growth and vitality of the community and the interest of the community as a whole," said North Liberty Mayor Terry Donahue.

The school is named in honor of Dr. Christine Grant.

"Her impact spreads far beyond our community and really expands the country as a whole," Iowa City Community School District Superintendent Stephen Murley said.

Dr. Grant was the one and only Women's Athletic Director at the University of Iowa. A role she filled for 27 years. She was an advocate for equality for women's sports and instrumental in crafting the Title IX legislation.

"There's no award that I have been given or will be given that means more to me than the naming of this school," Dr. Grant said. "Education is of the greatest gift that we can give to the next generations. It's difficult for me to convey to you how much I'm honored by this recognition."

It was an emotional moment for Iowa Women's Basketball Head Coach Lisa Bluder, who nominated Dr. Grant for the honor.

"Not a lot makes me cry or tear up because it was so emotional to have Dr. Grant here. Not often do you get the recipient, to be named after, to be actually here and she was here. I know how much it means to her," Bluder said.

Through this recognition, Bluder said Dr. Grant's legacy will live on forever.

 "The students are going to get to learn about Dr. Grant about what an impact she made towards gender equity, towards Title IX, towards giving women empowerment and opportunities in education and athletics. That's what's going to be so great about this school," she said.

Dr. Grant hired Bluder before she retired in 2000. 

Grant Elementary will open in the fall of 2019.

"For years and decades to come, people will have the opportunity to revisit the work that she has done to understand the impact that it had for the student-athletes at that time but all of our students forever," Murley said.

Students from both Garner and Penn Elementary in North Liberty will feed into the school.

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