View Ridge celebrates newly designed school
Collecting items for time capsule through June 10
EVERETT - View Ridge Vikings of all ages last week came to celebrate the school’s first year of classes in its new building.
More than 300 people came for View Ridge Elementary’s dedication, which included the introduction of a 50-year time capsule.
The Everett School District over the last two years rebuilt View Ridge into a modern, two-story building big enough for 460 students.
Some Vikings hold a fondness for the old school, but parents and students agree they like the new View Ridge, located at 202 Alder St.
Principal Kert Lenseigne said alumni from 50 years ago attended the dedication Tuesday, April 23, which he said shows the warmth of View Ridge’s community.
“That’s what it’s about,” Lenseigne said. “Spirit makes the building come alive.”
The design basics for View Ridge are being implemented across all of the district’s new schools. Monroe Elementary, which opened last year, has the same features.
Everyone at the dedication got to see what will be going into the time capsule, which includes the latest View Ridge yearbook, class photos and pieces of the school’s iconic big top. The closed capsule will be displayed inside the school and will be opened in 2054, the school’s 100th anniversary.
“It will be sealed to keep that sense of wonder,” Lenseigne said.
People can still add items to the time capsule through Monday, June 10 if they bring them to the school, Lenseigne said.
Fifth-grader Evie Ramirez said she likes the new View Ridge because it is bigger and the classrooms have windows. She went to classes in the old school.
“We get a lot of windows in the classroom so we can look outside,” Evie said.
She said she also likes the new carpeting and new cafeteria.
Evie’s parents, Margy and Deano Ramirez, love the school’s positive energy fostered by Lenseigne. They have four kids at View Ridge.
“I love it,” Margy said. “I like that it’s open and the energy it brings to it.”
Parents like the school’s new breakout learning spaces, a new thing in schools where tables are set aside for students to study off the main hallway.
“I think that’s working well,” parent Jay Vandermeer said, adding, “Even as this is one year, the memories are growing.”
Parent Michelle Rye said the new school is a lot safer. She likes that office staff can see who’s coming in and out of the building, and that in the parking lot buses are separated from parents dropping off kids.
Parents applauded the teachers and staff at View Ridge.
“The school may have changed, but it’s the same great staff,” Rye said.
Next year, the Boys & Girls Club will offer before and after-school programs at View Ridge, the latest addition for the school, Lenseigne said.
The old View Ridge was built in 1954. The school quickly gained its identity through a big canvas circus tent in the main courtyard with a spinning ball on top called a whirligig.
The school cut up the tent and gave pieces to students, but the whirligig is back spinning on campus, Lenseigne said.
“From day one, it’s been a place they can feel proud of, and feel safe in,” Lenseigne said, adding, “A school itself doesn’t really become a school until there’s kids in the building.”
The new View Ridge was built as part of the district’s $198.9 million bond voters approved in 2006. View Ridge cost $16 million to build.
The last projects in that construction bond are being built this year and includes a new gym for Everett High School.
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