Video: Hundreds gather to celebrate on the eve of Fairmount Park Elementary’s reopening

September 2, 2014 at 7:50 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 6 Comments

“It’s amazing!” That’s what we heard one new Fairmount Park Elementary student exclaim while walking the school’s halls after this afternoon’s standing-room-only ribboncutting event celebrating the school’s expansion and reopening after a seven-year closure. You might have gotten a sense of that amazement, checking out some of the features shown in our walkthrough story earlier today. But it’s the school’s community – with more than 380 students expected tomorrow, 40 or so above the most-recent estimate we had – that is most astounding. Principal Julie Breidenbach pointed out it was a leap of faith for many families who already had started their children’s elementary years elsewhere, and that it’s more than double what the district expected the school to re-start with:

She was joined onstage by dignitaries including the district’s new acting Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, and West Seattle’s School Board rep Marty McLaren:

Even West Seattle’s highest-ranking elected official, King County Executive Dow Constantine, was there, and he shared reminiscences including his memories of some involvement with Fairmount Park’s first phase of life, as well as some thoughts as a new dad who’ll be taking his daughter to her first day of school in a few years.

So much work has gone into “breathing life into the new building,” pointed out interim PTA president Hillary Shaw:

Those weren’t even all the speeches – but we have to get to the main event: The ribboncutting itself, which came after words of acknowledgment from principal Breidenbach and district construction-projects manager Jeanette Imanishi.

The event even had dessert – ice cream, served in the cafeteria/auditorium – and then it was off to look around:

Students and families got to meet teachers, too:

All the while, finishing touches were continuing – we spotted this worker painting lines on the north playground:

Tomorrow morning, it’s the real deal – time for school, again, at Fairmount Park. (And remember, that also means a school speed zone on Fauntleroy Way for the first time since 2007.) P.S. Other schools have changes too, including bell times, and we’ll be looking at those in a story later tonight.


  1. That courtyard looks awesome for sk8ters. NOT!

    Comment by uh uh — 12:16 pm September 3, 2014 #

  2. The knuckleheads that closed the school in the first placed should have been banned from the opening.

    Comment by I Wonder — 12:38 pm September 3, 2014 #

  3. IW, fwiw, I don’t know that anyone involved in that decision WAS there. Certainly that was a few superintendents ago. As for the School Board, it’s turned over completely – nobody on it now was even on it in 2007, let alone 2006 when the closure decisions were made. The district also has had a lot of middle-management turnover – assistant superintendents, etc.

    Comment by WSB — 12:47 pm September 3, 2014 #

  4. Carr was a director throughout the closings. She needs to retire. She also did nothing with the GHS rape. She also allowed MGJ to run the show. No where as bad as Blandford or Martin-Morris. I believe that Martin-Morris was there too, coming in with Carr.

    Retire Carr or at least grow a set. Blandford and Martin-Morris recuse yourselfs permanently as you are both over your heads.

    Carr is responsive though and I admire her for that.

    Comment by sps watcher — 9:32 pm September 3, 2014 #

  5. SPSW – Not a comment on anything else you point out but Sherry Carr was elected in fall 2007, by which time Fairmount Park was already closed (following a decision made in 2006). There was, of course, ANOTHER round of closings not too far behind.

    Comment by WSB — 9:35 pm September 3, 2014 #

  6. Looking at the pictures, I thought maybe that was a Dave Matthews concert…

    Seriously, anyone else noticing the severe lack of diversity there?

    Comment by not quite a rainbow — 8:27 pm September 4, 2014 #

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