Superintendent Message

October 2018

Mike Nelson

I will never forget the move.

It was the day before school was going to begin after the winter holiday in January 2017. Even though it has been 21 months, my body and mind still react when I think of this day. It was bitter cold. The wind was strong, which made the coldness go right through my body. The fencing was up surrounding the old parts of EHS. Tarps were covering the fences providing additional protection between the construction area and non-construction area. That was their intent, but the tarps were fl ying all over campus. In addition, the heat was not working in the building on that day. We were working diligently to place the fi nal furniture from the old EHS into portable classrooms to be ready for school the next day. It needed to be done, but it was so very cold!

We were about to embark on what we thought would be a 24-month journey. I knew in order to have a new building, we needed to experience a "new, portable-style" Enumclaw High School, yet I was feeling anxious. Students and staff would be spread out all over the campus. As a result of this new campus some have named this time period as our "district wellness plan" because of the number of steps walked each day by students and staff. Some said it was the period of sensible and waterproof footwear and umbrellas. I think we all can agree that we look forward to this being in our past! Our district office excitedly welcomed the social studies department to the portables near us as well as to our workroom and lunchroom. We have loved connecting with them during this time. As I reflect, I realize I did not need to have felt anxious. I witnessed staff and students "rise to the occasion" in dealing with the adversity of learning in portables on all parts of a campus. I watched parents and community members navigate through new construction walkways to attend sporting events and fundraisers! We now have endured 21 months of being a "school of portables" and have moved into our new building two and a half months early! I am so incredibly grateful to all of you for support in remaining patient and positive as we anticipated this phase being completed.

Thank you to the nearly 1,000 of you who attended our dedication ceremony! On Monday our students had a grand fi rst day of class in the new building. I believe this day will be a "forever memory" for each of our high school students. I can hear them asking friends at their 20 year reunion, "Do your remember our first day in the new school? Wasn't it fun?"

We have one more phase remaining. Beginning in the next few weeks, we will move through a final abatement and demolition process of the library, 600 classroom quad and science wing. Following this, the construction of our new band/choir/ wrestling rooms as well as three additional classrooms will begin. This is scheduled to be completed by January 2020.

Our students and future students (for the next half-century) will be very fortunate to have such a beautiful learning environment. Thank you so much for the passage of this bond in April 2015. As a result of this bond passing, you have left a legacy to public education in the Enumclaw School District.

In partnership with you,

Mike Nelson's signature graphic