Principal Gerrie Garton first set foot inside the new Black Diamond Elementary School in February and staff members walked through the new building for the first time in early June.
Now, it’s the public’s turn to take a look.
The formal dedication of the new building is set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7 in the gymnasium, providing a first opportunity for students, families and community members to experience the new building. After a ribbon-cutting, the building will be open until 8 p.m. for walk-throughs.
The soon-to-be completed elementary school boasts 51,725 square feet of learning spaces including classrooms to house nearly 450 students, an art room, library, gymnasium, stage and several flexible spaces for small-group learning. Touches of historical significance have been incorporated throughout, from the beams surrounding the stage to the peaks of the roof. A special project with the Black Diamond Museum will also make history relevant through photos and other artifacts.
Students will begin school Sept. 5 in their new classrooms, sitting on land that has been home to a Black Diamond school since the early 1900s. During the 2016-17 school year, students were transported to Enumclaw, where they filled the J.J. Smith building. The previous Black Diamond Elementary was razed shortly after completion of the 2015-16 school year.
The new building was made possible when Enumclaw School District voters passed a $68 million construction bond in 2015. The money, combined with funds from the state, allowed the district to build the new elementary school. Also funded was an expansion and renovation project, still ongoing, at Enumclaw High School.
The total project cost for Black Diamond — including demolition of the old school and construction of the new facility — was pegged at somewhere between $12.2 million and $13.5 million.
Weekly construction progress can be viewed on the district website, www.enumclaw.wednet.edu.