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Tour highlights issues at Cascade

Cascade Elementary Principal Teresa Iyall-Williams stands next to a school book room that can only be accessed by entering a kindergarten classroom. - Kirk Boxleitner
Cascade Elementary Principal Teresa Iyall-Williams stands next to a school book room that can only be accessed by entering a kindergarten classroom.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — For those who attended the Oct. 19 tour of the Liberty Elementary facilities, the Marysville School District officials’ Nov. 30 tour of the Cascade Elementary facilities seemed to cover familiar issues.

Cascade Elementary Principal Teresa Iyall-Williams was joined by fellow school staff members, including teachers Jenni Tomas and Therese Randall, as well as MSD Board members and Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, in taking a firsthand look at the structural issues that school staff say have interfered with their everyday operations.

Like Liberty, Cascade’s interior was gutted of its walls to accommodate the “open concept” design, but when this fell out of favor, the replacement walls contained no wiring for lighting, heating or electrical outlets, and in many cases didn’t match the original layout of the building. Cascade teachers explained to their visitors that the replacement walls’ thinness and gaps between rooms result in noise from adjacent classes spilling over into each other.

MSD Capital Projects Director John Bingham pointed out that many classrooms allow very little daylight in, while Iyall-Williams noted that the fire loss of two portable buildings has left Cascade with no gathering place for professional development during the day, which has resulted in the frequent displacement of the school librarian.

Like Liberty, Cascade has a few light switches that are rooms away from the classrooms that they light, but Cascade also features light switches located between walls of classrooms, with holes cut out of the walls to accommodate them. Tomas explained that poor ventilation results in her room’s temperature never going below 70 degrees during warmer months, and added that a number of classrooms can only be accessed by walking through other classrooms, which she cited as disruptive to the students’ learning. By contrast, one unit of classrooms spent several days dressing in layers, because problems with the heating during cooler months resulted in their room’s temperatures reaching 50 degrees.

Board President Michael Kundu expressed concern over the difficulty of monitoring the number of children whose classes share a common bathroom, right next to an outside door.

Nyland and Bingham reiterated that the bond measure, if passed, would replace the current Cascade facilities, rather than renovating them.

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