Monday May 1st – many gathered, huddled under a small tent. Keeping dry from the rain; we all sipped coffee and leaned forward in anticipation of Dr. Nathan McCann’s opening remarks.
This gathering was the Ground-Breaking Ceremony for the Ridgefield School District’s new 5-8 Grade School Complex as well as the immense Sporting Complex planned for the same area — across NW Hilhurst Rd from Ridgefield High School. (Approximate Map Location)
After the opening statements and a warm welcome (on a chilly day) guests were treated to a performance of the Star Spangled Banner from Ridgefield High School’s Jazz Choir. 👏👏👏
“Our community truly needs these facilities and residents know it!”
All of the speakers had a lot of meaningful, heartfelt thanks to give. Not only to the community of Ridgefield for passing the tax bond to pay for this new complex, but for the thousands of citizens who made their voices heard throughout the entire process.
The new building which will house grades 5 + 6 (pictured below) will be the first school building constructed in Ridgefield since 1976! The groups involved in this process have adopted the credo, “Failure is not an option!”
“Failure is not an option!”
The first schools built in Ridgefield in more than 40 years include a new fifth and sixth grade intermediate school and a replacement of View Ridge Middle School, which serves the district’s seventh and eighth grade students. This two-story, 145,000 SqFt facility will include 44 modern, full size classrooms, two gymnasiums, a mult i-purpose/wrestling facility, spacious library-media center, life skills suite, band and choir rooms, and a state-of-the-art black box theater.
Effectively two schools under one roof, this concept increases safety and security for students, staff, and patrons, while making maximum use of district resources by leveraging shared core facilities.
Pictured above are six students (currently in 3rd grade) who will be some of the first in their class to walk through the doors of the new building that they are currently breaking ground on! Liam Schafer, one of the students pictured above, spoke at the ceremony saying,
“This new building will make my learning experience even more memorable. Thank You.”
Much of the ceremony was in celebration of the history of this land. Previously owned by the Bartel Family the land was previously home to their proud farming tradition. The Bartel Family Farm was a bountiful place full of dairy cows, hay, oats, strawberries and (of course!) SPUDS! (or potatoes for the layman).
This location was also home to an old schoolhouse complete with a large beel that would be rung daily to signal the beginning and end of the school day. One day an overzealous student rung the bell so vigorously that he actually dislodged it from it’s perch. It came crashing down through the ceiling of the schoolhouse – narrowly missing a student at their desk – and landed in the basement. It rested there for a decade or more until Pete Bartel’s father purchased it – took a welding class – and repaired the bell.
This will be a Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol facility and will benefit from energy savings of approximately 20%, reduced water consumption of 30%, and include enhanced daylighting, superior acoustic performance, and maximum ventilation, contributing to a healthy and vibrant 21st century learning and teaching environment.
The fingerprints on this project number in thousands – from people all over Ridgefield. To them – many thanks. To the Bartel family – many thanks. This is sure to be an excellent addition to an already wonderful place to live!
“Though this ground is no longer a farm, and will no longer grow spuds — it will continue to grow Spudders.” — Pete Bartel
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