The Lake Washington School District (LWSD) recently opened the new Peter Kirk Elementary School in Kirkland.
Students, teachers and staff were welcomed into the new school at the beginning of the year. A formal opening ceremony was held Oct. 24 with LWSD Superintendent Dr. Jane Stavem, school board vice president Mark Stuart, Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet and school principal Monica Garcia.
The project was part of the $398 million bond measure taxpayers voted on in 2016.
The project broke ground in March 2018 with an estimated budget of about $44.98 million. The rebuild included 30 standard classrooms plus rooms for music, art/science, English language learning and special education, a library, cafeteria/commons, gymnasium and an outdoor covered play area.
The decision to rebuild, as opposed to remodel the school, was made by the district’s Remodel vs. Rebuild Study. It concluded that building a new school would be more cost effective than remodeling and enlarging the existing school.
The original building consisted of multiple small buildings made of cinder block. The new building brings the entire school under one roof and limits access points into the building to enhance safety, according to the LWSD website.
“This is our assembly to celebrate our new school,” Garcia said as she opened the Oct. 24 event.
Music teacher, Katie Peterson, led a group of students in singing two songs — “Make New Friends” and Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me (123).”
Stavem welcomed and thanked all of the school district and city partners who were involved with the creation and completion of the new school. She also explained to students the district’s work to create and remodel schools.
“Our school district has been very, very busy making sure we have great places for students to learn,” Stavem said at the event. “Some of the new features in our brand new buildings are things like beautiful windows with light coming in. You’ll see beautiful bright colors that make it an exciting place for kids to come, and you’ll see beautiful flexible learning spaces.”
Sweet also addressed the full room of students. She said as a longtime resident of Kirkland she has had the opportunity to see the community grow and change and has been waiting for the school to catch up.
“This beautifully renovated building reflects our commitment to future generations,” she said. “The city council is proud to continue our commitment to schools.”
The event closed with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by Stavem and students.
To learn more about the new Peter Kirk Elementary School, visit www.lwsd.org.