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Black Diamond Elementary Dedication



On August 7, 2017 at 6:30 p.m., Enumclaw School District dedicated the Black Diamond Elementary building that has been on the historic school site since the early 1900s. Nearly 700 community members, voters, staff, students and families were in attendance to celebrate and tour the hallways. It was a remarkable evening -- and we are grateful for the opportunity to share it again with you!

Black Diamond Elementary Dedication Video:

Black Diamond Elementary Dedication -- Transcript
Mike Nelson, Superintendent
Nine years ago, I had an individual come to me and say, "I have a proposition for you." She was then the Director of Professional Development of our school district. She was a Central Office administrator. She came to me and sat in my office and said, "I would like to be the next Principal of Black Diamond Elementary, and here's the reason, I want to join in partnership with you because I know that you have the vision to build a new Black Diamond Elementary School before the growth happens, before the second elementary school occurs in Black Diamond, and we need to take care of the historical school site. We need to build a school here before any of the growth takes place. We get a brand new elementary school built on this historic school site for the city of Black Diamond and the students of Enumclaw School District." That Principal, as you know well, is Gerrie Garton. (clapping)

Gerrie Garton, Black Diamond Elementary Principal
Unbelievable. This is what it's all about right here. Look at that. My heart is overflowing. So thank you to all of those voters that voted. Thank you to all of the parents, many of you I've known since I began; I'm going into my 10th year. Thank you for making this happen, and thank you for always being my cheerleader.

Mike Nelson, Superintendent
I was reminded while I was waiting for people at the door, one of the things that is really hard is when you see the architect's renderings, it's hard for me to picture what it's going to feel like when people arrive. From what I was told, and what we were told by our architect team and our owner's representative, that this gathering area would be an amazing place for people and how they gather to come. And so for those of us who stood there, we saw you coming, probably because there's no parking, but (laughter) we saw you coming from every direction to this gathering place.

One of the pieces that was very important to our architects and what they heard and listened from our design team and from many of you giving feedback was that we recognize this is a brand new school, but what we would like there to be some historical pieces tied to the school. So you're going to notice some things. You are going to notice a historical wall that our incredible Black Diamond Historical Society, Keith Watson and his crew, did in the entryway. Those will always be historical walls that we hope to change out occasionally to provide kids with a sense of history of Black Diamond.

Gomer Evans, Black Diamond citizen and student at original Black Diamond Elementary
When I was a freshman, my sister Lynn was a senior, so they took all the kids in that school and we came right out and took a picture. They did that like they did the grade school.

Mike Nelson, Superintendent
You're going to notice a lot of the colors from the black and the red and the grays of the coal mines. You're going to notice the timbers that are bordering this stage were the actual beams from the old elementary gym, and the way that they are put is symbolic in the rafters so you feel like you're in a mine tunnel going into or giving the sense or the perception of going into a mine tunnel.

Pete French, Facilities Coordinator
You know it's all for them. It's all for the kids. We're giving them a learning environment that's safe and comfortable and quiet. That's mission accomplished; I think we did really well with that.

Mike Nelson, Superintendent
This is an amazing evening for the city of Black Diamond and the Enumclaw School District. We just dedicated a brand new Black Diamond Elementary school, our newest school in the Enumclaw School District. We can't wait for kids to fill the classrooms on September 5th.

Construction progress slideshow:

Event photos: