Next month, not only will Wildwood Elementary students be starting a new school year, but they will be stepping into a brand-new building. The previous building, built in 1951, was outdated and becoming too small for its 585 students.
“The new building is not so that we can add more kids; it’s so we can do more of the type of hands-on teaching we are doing now,” principal Mark Hamre says. “The school staff had a big part in the building design, and we matched it to what we feel is important in education.”
Completed this summer, the new building is approximately 87,000 square feet—about 30,000 square feet more than the old school. New amenities include two conference rooms, two common-learning areas with portable stages for events, an enlarged gym with a flexible wall and many energy-efficient systems. And students will undoubtedly be excited about the new playground that incorporates vegetation and natural elements into the play structure. Hamre also hopes the community will use some of these new amenities.
The building will also house the district’s early childhood program, which was previously located at the district office building. “[The addition of the program] is a huge bonus for us,” Hamre says. “This will help ease that transition from early childhood to kindergarten.”