The new Madrona K-8 School building opened its doors to students just in time for the start of the new year.
Students and faculty were welcomed back from their holiday break on Monday, Jan. 7 with a newly-constructed building 12 feet away from where the previous one stood for almost 30 years in Edmonds.
“It’s been a long journey, but it’s been well worth it and it’s a beautiful space,” said Edmonds School District Superintendent Kristine McDuffy.
McDuffy said in addition to the uniqueness and thought that went into the planning process for the new building, one of Madrona’s greatest features is the sense of community pride the new building represents.
“You can feel it as they walk in today,” she said. “They have had first-level of important input all along the journey.”
Principal Kathleen Hodges said she is happy to finally see the students on campus and though there is still some work to finish, such as landscaping, it’s amazing to see the new school completed.
“It’s one thing to see it on blueprints and on flat image, but to see it in person,” she said. “To go into the learning centers after teachers have set them up and to see what they’ve done, it’s just phenomenal.”
Madrona K-8 is the region’s deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) school. Thirty students currently enrolled are deaf, and the new campus is designed to accommodate their needs as well as the needs of the school’s DHH staff. The new building comes equipped with Americans with Disability Act (ADA)-approved digital clocks that have color-coded light alarms.
“The goal is to be inclusive so that even though there are students who identify as deaf, they’re our students,” Hodges said.
Hodges said she has been on campus for a week with Assistant Principal Jesse Goodsky and the school’s custodial crews, who worked most of the winter break, to ensure the campus would be ready for students in January.
“Our custodial crew are the real heroes,” she said. “They have been here working like heroes — set up, unpacking, if teachers needed assistance they were there to assist.”
While Madrona’s new building was being constructed, the students and faculty were temporarily located at the former Alderwood Middle School location in Lynnwood. Hodges said though Alderwood Middle was a good temporary school she’s glad they are now on the new campus.
Development for Madrona’s new campus was temporarily halted during a dispute between the Edmonds School District and Olympic View Water and Sewer District (OVWSD) over a stormwater system.
The wells that were source of controversy will not be immediately operational as the new site needs time to stabilize, said District Communications and Public Relations Specialist Kelly Franson. Franson said it will probably be a year before the wells are fully functional.
“They are here, they are built, but that is something that whenever you set up a school like this, it takes time to go through that process,” she said. “This is not an extra delay. That was the plan.
For a detailed walkthrough of the new Madrona K-8 School, click here.
— Story and photos by Cody Sexton