Groundbreaking Ceremony Held on September 13th, 2004
Left: Let the construction begin!
Left to right:
Superintendent Raj Manhas, School Board member Brita Butler-Wall, former King County Executive Randy Revelle (RHS '59), Mayor Greg Nichols, and SPS Chief Academic Officer, Steve Wilson wield their green and gold shovels to break ground for the two year renovation of RHS.
Left: RHS Foundation President, Pam Walters Eshelman '75 presents the first Endowment Fund distribution to Principal Chuck Chinn for current programs at Roosevelt. This first check for grants from the foundation provided a special computer for use by the newspaper staff, yearbook staff and the photography classrooms, 200 pre-calculus textbooks, 25 music stands, a cart and 50 chairs for the music department and an LCD projector.
What it is to Be: Groundbreaking at the New RHS
by Hillary Watson, Staff Reporter (reproduced from The Roosevelt News, Volume 81: Issue 1, October 2004)
Photos courtesy of RHS Student Anastasia Ehrich. Click any photo to enlarge.
During four years at Roosevelt, one of the things students inevitably learn is the school motto: "What I am to be, I am now becoming." While this is true for Roosevelt students, it can also be applied to the school building, which has recently begun a two-year reconstruction. The former Roosevelt High School building, located on NE 66th, is currently undergoing an $84.5 million renovation.
To honor this welcomed change, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new school building was held on September 13. The celebration began with speeches from such esteemed community members as School Board representative Brita Butler-Wall and Superintendent of Schools Raj Manhas. There were thank-yous given on all parts, including the staff of the school, voters, students, and taxpayers alike.
Mayor Greg Nichols, who was also present at the ceremony, gave a speech commending the city for its commitment to improve local schools, parks, and libraries. Nichols recognized that, "for [Seattle] to be competitive with the rest of the world, we need to invest in ourselves," adding that "kids know when we've invested in them."
The featured speaker of the evening was former King County executive Randy Revelle, a Roosevelt graduate from the class of 1959. Revelle, locally recognized as the creator of the one-way streets that surround Roosevelt, described the positive influence that the school had in his life. He recalled the school motto, noting, "After 45 years, I'm still becoming what I am to be."
After his speech, Pam Eshelman of the class of 1975 spoke. Eshelman is the PTSA Co-President and President of the Roosevelt Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the school's financial security by creating an endowment. At the end of her speech, Eshelman presented Principal Chuck Chinn with a $20,000 check from the Foundation.
This presentation was followed by the groundbreaking, done in true Roughrider fashion with green and gold painted shovels. Among those who participated were Nichols, Butler-Wall, Manhas, and Revelle. After the initial groundbreaking, others were invited to participate, including teachers, PTSA members, Golden Grads, members of the cheerleading squad, and Principal Chinn.
Looking at the plans for the new school, the cause of celebration is obvious. The facilities at the school will be newer and more technologically advanced. All classrooms will have daylight, and there will be an outdoor commons overlooking a new football field.
Lorne McConchie, one of the chief architects of the building, spoke of the acoustics quality of the new theater, which will fit 700 and be designed to showcase the outstanding drama program at Roosevelt. The current auditorium will be converted to a large library, with daylight being restored to that space. Ultimately, the goal of the remodel is to create a school that accommodates different learning styles and puts the students first.
Exciting as the new building will be, it will not be completed until the fall of 2006, meaning that current juniors and seniors will graduate out of the temporary site at Lincoln. Principal Chinn addressed these students, first commending them for the sacrifice of leaving the school they knew. Still, he added, "home is where the heart is... Roughriders are first class, regardless of where their home is."
VIEW ANNOUNCEMENT (Microsoft Word document)