Ribbon-cutting ceremony held for Pat Tillman Middle School in Phoenix

After several COVID-related delays, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pat Tillman Middle School was held on Aug. 12.

The new school, located at 4309 E. Belleview Street in Phoenix, is now open and is Balsz School District's most innovative technology-advanced school, officials say.

The school replaces Balsz Elementary School, which was built in 1964.

MORE: Middle school renamed in honor of Pat Tillman

Five former Arizona Cardinals players and Arizona lawmakers were on hand Friday for the ceremony.

"I'm real excited about the fact that the residents of the Balsz community came forward and said, ‘Yes, we want this for our kids. We will pay a few more pennies on our taxes to make sure it happens,'" said Gail Knight, governing board president of the Balsz School District. 

Inspired by the 9/11 terror attack, Pat Tillman famously walked away from his multi-million dollar contract with the Cardinals and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He went on to Iraq to fight as an Army Ranger.

On April 22, 2004, Tillman was killed in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan. To this day, Tillman is remembered for his exemplary character, spirit, and sense of curiosity about the world. 

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Aug. 12 for Pat Tillman Middle School in Phoenix.