Wearing white hard hats, and with hands gripping the handles of decorated gold shovels, representatives from Steilacoom High School, the school district and the community, broke ground on Sept. 26 for the high school’s upgrade. (To see more pictures, click here).
Of special note that afternoon, was the SHS dignitary who wore a purple hard hat emblazoned with the word “Sentinel”.
The sunny occasion marked the “official” start on the school’s addition and modernization project. The new section is expected to be ready for occupancy by 2010.
In an event reminiscent of one held 31 years earlier, in Sept. 1978, when the district broke ground for the community’s first high school, dignitaries from that era: former Supt. Rich Wilson, past school board chairman Gerry Evanson, and former SHS principal James Stewart, joined with their contemporaries on Wednesday afternoon to mark the historic occasion.
Current SHS principal Jan McCrimmon welcomed guests. SHSD superintendent Dr. Art Himmler recapped the school’s history, beginning with 1974-5, when SHSD No. 1 consolidated with DuPont and Anderson Island school districts. The tradition of placing commemorative class plaques began with the school’s first graduating class in 1984.
Besides the former school superintendent, current school board members Al Lawrence, Sam Scott, Mike Winkler and John Campbell also took part in the occasion.
Also taking part were students Kelsi Breen and Coral Burn, Jennifer Northey, Ryan Edington, Susie Saxman, Sammy Scott and Josh Winkler. Winkler displayed items that are being placed in a time capsule, including a “Wustie’s Warrior’s” Basketball shirt.
John Korsmo Construction Company is in charge of the addition/modernization project; while Hill International is managing the district’s various school construction projects.
Total cost for the project, including related fees, is about $25.6 million, according to Project Manager Rusty Pritchard. District voters in 2005, approved an approximately $55 million school construction bond.
The original SHS building cost about $8 million, with half of that amount from a voter-approved bond.
After a flurry of dirt turning-giving everyone an opportunity to deepen the trench-guests recessed to the school Commons for refreshments. Surrounded by banners from past SHS graduating classes, the main attention -getter was a large, glass display frame, showing a montage of photos from that 30-year-ago-event. Most of those 1978 participants readily identified the people who attended that long-ago event.
Unlike that occasion three decades earlier, hot dogs weren’t served this time.
For details about the modernization project, please visit www.steilacoom.k12.wa.us and click the link to Construction Progress.