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      Federal, state leaders celebrate Dillon school

      More than 800 people attended the new Dillon Middle School dedication Thursday morning.

      The new school replaces JV Martin Junior High. The school was more than 100 years old and gained national attention for its structural problems.

      President Barack Obama, then Senator Obama, toured the school during his presidential campaign. President Obama also mentioned the school during his first speech to Congress, after receiving a letter from a student about the conditions of the school.

      The White House sent Doug McKalip to speak at the event. He is the Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs and White House Domestic Policy Council.

      Former South Carolina Superintendent of Education Jim Rex came out for the celebration. District officials praised Rex for his hard work in helping to see that the school was built.

      Dillon School District Four Superintendent Ray Rogers says he has waited for this day since 1991. He says it's like a dream come true.

      Dillon Middle School is a 21st Century School, meaning it's state of the art.

      Students say they feel good to be in a better learning environment. Educators believe the new school should make a big difference in the education of students.