Students begin classes in new school
EVERETT - View Ridge Vikings got to explore their new school on the first day of classes last week.
View Ridge Elementary is the latest new school in the Everett School District. The district made View Ridge two stories tall and added enough room for 460 students. The school is located at 202 Alder St.
The new school is getting a big thumbs up from kids and teachers. Parents will appreciate the larger parking lot, too.
Everything’s bigger, noted 8-year-olds Wiam Elmouvaraki and Makena Bretland, who are in the third grade.
“The library’s big, and cool because there’s a lot of decorations,” Elmouvaraki said.
Aidan Richer, 8, took the opportunity to identify as many states as he could on a new map outlined on the paved playground.
He likes that the school is brighter and the computer monitors are bigger. The district installed 200 new computers at View Ridge.
“It really is a great learning environment,” teacher Mary Albert said.
When she saw her new classroom, Albert was impressed. “I can’t believe the space. So warm, so inviting,” she said.
Principal Kert Lenseigne is excited by how the school turned out.
The interior is painted white with muted browns, greens and yellows. The halls are much wider than the old View Ridge. Large windows bring in daylight all throughout the school.
“Even though it’s a large sense of space, it’s got an elementary school feel to it,” Lenseigne said.
The school is laid out well for children, Albert said. There are spaces for students to take their school work outside the classroom. The old View Ridge was a complex of hallways.
View Ridge is being constructed in two phases. The school building and paved playground are complete. Phase two will put in a large grassy area big enough for two soccer fields and a baseball diamond, Lenseigne said.
The neighborhood will be able to use the field once the grass is put down.
“This is a true community school because the community is right there,” Lenseigne said waving his hand toward nearby houses.
View Ridge features new technology it never had before. The school is one of the last in the district to get Wi-Fi. The classrooms are nearly silent because of new super-quiet heating and ventilation systems.
Each classroom has its own filtered heating and ventilation system, which district officials hope will reduce the spread of colds and flus. Two other Everett schools have similar systems.
The construction cost is $16 million, paid in part out of a $198.9 million bond voters approved in 2006. The district opened a new Monroe Elementary earlier this year and completed work on Whittier and Jefferson elementary schools last year with bond money.
Everett is making its new schools, such as Monroe Elementary, two stories tall for efficiency reasons. It’s a new trend in school construction, and at View Ridge the custodians have said they can clean the school more quickly.
The old, expansive View Ridge was built in 1954 and quickly gained an identity with its circus tent in the playground topped by a spinning ball called a whirligig.
The whirligig was saved and will make a re-appearance in the near future, Lenseigne said. The pillars of the old tent were built into a covered playground structure.
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