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A Student Body With Drive

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"Boys and girls, start your minds."

That might be an appropriate announcement each morning at the new Ontario (Calif.) Center School. The K-6 school, which opened this fall on what was once part of the famous Ontario Motor Speedway, has incorporated a racing motif into its design.

Its forebear was a $35-million motor speedway that once was called the "Taj Mahal of motor racing."

Located on what was once a parking lot for the track, the school's raceway theme begins with its motto: "Winning Through Education." The school's central hall is a racetrack-like circle.

Speedway graphics adorn the classrooms: Green flags (the starter's signal) are used in the K class, while checkered flags (the winner's signal) decorate the 6th-grade class.

School got under way this month when the 500 students got the checkered flag from Jim McElreath, a former race-car driver who won the first event at the old raceway 20 years ago.--gb

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