New Valley View school readying for fall
SNOHOMISH - Students at Valley View Middle School will venture into a brand-new facility this fall.
Voters approved a $261.6 million bond in 2008 that was used in part to finance the remodel and expansion project. The new school cost $85 million and received new technology, a new gym and a new outdoor track.
Valley View’s 705 students were relocated in January 2011 to the Maple Avenue Campus and spent three semesters there awaiting their new school.
Project manager Steve Moore said that the school can house 950 students in the future.
“The building needed to prepare for the future and growth,” Moore said.
Valley View principal Nancy Rhoades said that the school was using eight portable classrooms to accommodate all the students.
Crowding issues also meant that three separate lunches had to be coordinated to fit everyone, and hallways were packed.
Rhoades added: “Educationally, things have changed a lot in the past 30 years and the building just didn’t fit anymore.”
District spokeswoman Kristin Foley said that the school attendance area has seen a significant amount of growth and the new Valley View will help accommodate the increasing student population.
In 2004, a voter-approved $141.5 million bond funded the construction of two brand-new schools: Little Cedars Elementary and Glacier Peak High School. These two schools are in the same “feeding pattern” as Valley View, and contribute to the rising number of students that need a school to call home.
The 2008 bond also rebuilt Machias and Riverview elementaries and expanded Centennial Middle School, which finished fall 2011.
Students from Centennial weren’t moved from their campus during construction like Valley View students.
Centennial received a second story and ten additional classrooms. The main gym was remodeled, new technology was added, four science rooms were remodeled, and various mechanical equipment was replaced.
Valley View features the latest new technology.
Smart Boards were installed in every classroom. The boards are “like a white-board, but interactive,” Foley said, and allows teachers and students to interact with it like a touch-screen computer.
Smart Boards are in all district schools.
Another modern improvement to the school will be a host of green-minded components such as composting.
Valley View students will also work in teams to look at the building’s water, energy and lighting use, Rhoades said, and compare their resourcefulness to other student teams.
“A little bit of friendly competition,” Rhoades said, which will also be educational and eco-friendly.
Foley explained that, like all district schools, the “community has played in integral role in design and development” of Valley View, and that students and parents were involved every step of the four-and-a-half year process.
Kids who will be juniors this year at Glacier Peak High School helped in the beginning phases of design, and even met with architects to give the student’s perspective.
“They were adamant about having full-size lockers,” Rhoades said.
Valley View’s new field features synthetic grass and a rubberized track. The middle school also got a new practice field and a new “all-weather” softball field.