That singular scent of just-brewed coffee blended with a hint of something yummy from the oven is a familiar aroma found hovering over reception events—particularly at school functions. The comfortable presence of that celebratory elixir was evident on Oct. 26 at the neighborhood school in Northwest Landing.
The occasion? The long-anticipated groundbreaking to complete Chloe Clark Elementary School that opened in 2001. On hand for the official earth-turning were representatives from Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1, officials from the Town of Steilacoom, the City of DuPont, county, state, military and the community, as well as students, to mark the historic occasion.
Chloe Aurelia Barker, great-great-great-great granddaughter of school namesake Chloe Aurelia Clark Willson, also was there for the festivities. The 3-1/2 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Barker of Oregon, along with her brother, Oscar, took part in the ground breaking that morning. Chloe assisted school students Cameron (kindergarten), Thea (first grade) and Eden (second grade) at the morning event.
School principal Gary Yoho led the recitation of the Explorer Pledge encouraging everyone to do his/her best. The three youngsters spoke about their expectations for the school’s completion project.
Cameron said he looks forward to “finishing all five grades” at the DuPont/Northwest Landing neighborhood school, while Thea is eager about having “more friends, books and computers.” Eden also is anticipating having “more friends.”
Steilacoom School Superintendent Art Himmler greeted the honored guests, and thanked those who had helped pass the recent construction bond that enabled this construction to proceed.
School board chairman Duane Hardesty noted that it is “because of the kids” that district voters supported the bond, and he thanked them for their support.
The audience recessed to a cleared area outside where shovels trimmed with school-color-themed ribbons and shiny, white hardhats awaited those charged with the ceremonial dirt shoveling.
After a round of posing for commemorative photos and cheers, the guests fulfilled their responsibilities and then retreated to the multi-purpose room to socialize amid the comforting coffee/cookie aromas.