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Community welcomes newest school

Grove Principal Jeanne Tennis, holding microphone, readies a few students to help cut a ribbon marking the opening of Grove Elementary. From left is kindergartner Ashely Gooding, fifth-grader Crystal Brewster, kindergartner Alex Smothers, and Joey Lund, fifth-grade. Looking on is district facilities director John Bingham and school board Director Michael Kundu.   -
Grove Principal Jeanne Tennis, holding microphone, readies a few students to help cut a ribbon marking the opening of Grove Elementary. From left is kindergartner Ashely Gooding, fifth-grader Crystal Brewster, kindergartner Alex Smothers, and Joey Lund, fifth-grade. Looking on is district facilities director John Bingham and school board Director Michael Kundu.
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Ribbon cutting celebrates opening of new Grove Elementary

MARYSVILLE — Grove Elementary welcomed it’s first students into the fresh, new building Sept. 2.

But officials held off on an official ribbon cutting for the Marysville School District’s 11th elementary school until a formal ceremony on Sept. 25.

In the meantime, those new students were invited to share with teachers, and ultimately the community, what it is they like most about their new school.

Done up in crayon, the resulting papers lined the main hallway of the school’s first floor in time for the ribbon cutting. Principal Jeanne Tennis invited four students who she felt gave the best comments to help school and city officials cut the ribbon marking the grand opening of the school.

In the comments of the students on stage, and in those festooning the main hallway, the Grove playground got lots of attention, with one student claiming the school has the best playground in Snohomish County. A bit of playground equipment known as the “spider” especially seems to have attracted lots of fans.

According to Tristen Ishmael, 7, a second-grader at the school, the spider is for climbing and consists of rope and metal. Attending the ribbon cutting with dad Lynn, Tristen definitely thinks the playground is the best part of the school. He was clutching a piece of the ceremonial ribbon, something he vowed to hold onto.

Other students, by the way, talked about being able to make new friends and all the new books to which they have access. One student thanked the community for everything in the school, from the new laptops to those new books. One school official noted the district spent $500,000 on texts for Grove.

“Trucks just kept driving up and unloading,” Tennis said regarding the delivery of all those books and the untold amounts of other supplies which poured into the new school in August. “After a while, you wanted to just say, ‘Stop.’”

District Superintendent Larry Nyland said Grove staffers essentially put the school’s equipment together in the equivalent of 20 working days.

As they have in the past, district officials talked about opening Grove under budget and one year ahead of time. Capital Projects Director John Bingham and others talked once more of the unique use of modular, supposedly portable, classrooms in the wings of the building. Visitors were challenged to find where the traditional building ends and the modular components begin.

In the past, Bingham has said the new school carried a roughly $19 million price tag, with original estimates reaching $20 million.

Grove was built with proceeds from a bond issue voters approved in 2006 after two previous issues had failed. Bingham said the next big project to come out of that vote will be Getchell High School, the foundation of which he said is now being put in place.

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