On this date 92 years ago, Seattle Public Schools‘ Tom Redman told the 100+ people gathered to celebrate Roxhill Elementary’s new home, the Sunrise Heights school opened its doors as EC Hughes Elementary. Now, after $14 million in upgrades, it’s Roxhill at EC Hughes, and classes start tomorrow. “Welcome to THIS Roxhill,” declared principal Tarra Patrick, exuberantly.
While this morning’s ceremony honored the past – including an invitation to Hughes and Roxhill alums to stand (Redman noted the presence of a 1949 Hughes alum) – it also looked to the future. Not just the school’s future, but also the levies that SPS will send to the city’s voters in February. School Board president Leslie Harris (who represents West Seattle and South Park) lamented “levy confusion” among voters.
She also noted that one of the levies, BEX V (which has yet to be finalized – more on that in a separate story), is expected to include money for playgrounds, something that hopefully will alleviate the problem that forced the independent community group Friends of Roxhill to raise money to upgrade the Hughes playground, which wasn’t part of the renovation project. Friends of Roxhill president Shawna Patterson Lystra, a second-grade teacher at the school and parent of a third-grader, was also a speaker at today’s ceremony.
She hailed the school/community partnership, saying she was “excited about today and excited about what the future has in store for us.” New SPS superintendent Denise Juneau – attending what we believe was her first Seattle ribboncutting – also voiced excitement: “We are excited for this new chapter in the life of your school … Go, Roxhill Stars!”
We recorded all the speeches on video (added Tuesday evening):
Then it was on to the ribboncutting, with all the kids in the room invited to join the dignitaries (who included members of the project team, too):
Tours followed, starting along the hallway displaying reminders of Roxhill’s history as well as the renovations readying its students for a bright future:
We didn’t tag along for the rest of the tour – we brought you a look inside after the work was done earlier this summer. (Backstory on the Roxhill-to-Hughes move was also part of our preview published Monday.)