Spring Lake Park Schools hosted a groundbreaking ceremony May 26 at the site of its new preK-4 elementary school in Blaine.
The elementary school will open in time for the 2018-2019 school year on former National Sports Center property at the southeast corner of 105th Avenue and Davenport Street.
For approximately $1.4 million, the district purchased 11 acres and will have the ability to use additional green space and parking.
Growing enrollment in the district and facilities nearing capacity, particularly the Westwood complex, prompted the decision to build a new school.
Superintendent Jeff Ronneberg, School Board Chairperson John Stroebel, parent Marla Sciarra and NSC Executive Director Todd Johnson spoke before a crowd of approximately 70 people the afternoon of May 26.
Ronneberg thanked a long list of people, including community members who supported a $49.9 million bond referendum in April 2016.
Community members, parents, students and staff worked together to inform the design of the school, which Ronneberg called “innovative.”
“I think it is really going to capitalize on the creativity of each one of our teachers,” Ronneberg said.
Sciarra served on the design team.
“It was wonderful to be a part of that,” she said. “This is a very exciting day.”
Stroebel echoed Ronneberg’s thanks and noted his excitement about programming opportunities with the NSC and a growing partnership with the city of Blaine.
Johnson became emotional thinking of his father, who was a school superintendent.
Johnson’s dad, Wally Johnson, wrote his thesis on the importance of cooperative ventures of governmental entities and would be proud to see the NSC and Spring Lake Park Schools joining forces and sharing resources, he said.
“We’re just really grateful to move forward with the partnership,” Johnson said. “We’re so excited about the possibilities.”
The boundary process, which will determine which students attend the new school, will begin this summer and conclude by January 2018, according to district spokesperson Bob Noyed.
Approximately 600 students will attend the school.
The district will solicit possible names for the new school later month and narrow the field so that the community can provide input on favorites later this summer. The School Board will choose a name in September or October.
Any name suggestions should be geographically appropriate, and no names of corporations, district cities or people, living or dead, will be considered.