New school gets warm receptionA dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Sunday afternoon for the newest addition to Alexandria School District 206.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Sunday afternoon for the newest addition to Alexandria School District 206.
The district hosted the event for its newest building, Woodland Elementary School. The school not only houses K-6 classrooms, but also is home to the district’s offices, Community Education and the Early Education Center.
District 206 Superintendent Terry Quist opened the dedication ceremony by recognizing some of the key players involved with the building of the new school, including the late Bud Peterson, who donated the land to the school district for the new school; members of the “Vote Yes” committee, who were instrumental in getting the referendum passed; the school board for their commitment to the district; the community for its support and commitment to the students; the architectural firms for working hard on building the school; and everyone who had a hand in getting the project completed.
Other speakers included Pastor Sherry Billberg from First Lutheran Church, Alexandria City Mayor Dan Ness, Jerry Hanson from the “Vote Yes” committee, Early Education Center Coordinator Connie Good, Woodland Elementary teacher Cindy Wagner, school board chair Dean Anderson and Woodland Principal Scott Heckert.
Troy Miller from DLR Group, the architectural firm in charge of the project, also spoke to the crowd.
Miller told those in attendance that for every great building he has been a part of building, there has been a great community and school district with great staff and leadership supporting the project along the way.
Along with thanking the administration, staff and teachers for their hard work and dedication to the project, Miller thanked two other architectural firms for their work – Widseth Smith Nolting for its structural engineering and Landteam for its civil engineering work.
Miller added that those who worked on the Woodland Elementary School project were people with passion and a vision. He said that Woodland is projected to be in the top 10, if not the top five schools, for its sustainability.
Woodland is expected to consume 44.55 percent less energy than the standard school in the region, which is an estimated cost savings of $61,705 annually for the taxpayers of District 206.
Energy saving features of the new building include displacement ventilation, which with dedicated outdoor air, works with gravity to bring fresh air in at the floor and remove foul air at the ceiling. He said this type of system helps to reduce the number of sick days for both students and staff.
In addition to all the “green building strategies” used on Woodland, Miller expressed gratitude for the small amount of change-orders that occurred for this project.
“This is the first time that I have worked on a project with such few change-orders,” he said. “That shows the passion and dedication of this project.”
After Miller was done speaking, he presented the key to the building to the school board chair, concluding with, “I had a fantastic time working with all of you.”
Anderson also addressed the attendees, “On behalf of the board, thank you. Thanks to all of you for your hard work.”
He said that back in September of 2007, when the referendum to build a new elementary school passed with a near 2-1 margin, the school board made three promises to the community regarding the school.
The first was that school board members would be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, which he said they did by finishing the project months ahead of time and on budget.
The second was to create a facility that was functional, flexible and energy efficient. He feels the newest elementary school fits all three criteria.
And the last promise, was to identify a name for the building, which the school board did – Woodland Elementary School.
He concluded by saying that the dedication ceremony symbolizes the future of Woodland Elementary School and all it can offer its students, staff members, teachers and community.