LYNNWOOD, Wash., June 25, 2021 – The Edmonds School District, parents and architects celebrated the start of Phase 2 construction of Spruce Elementary on Wednesday, June 23.

The school held Closing and Groundbreaking ceremonies to commemorate the former building’s closing and demolition and the start of the new building’s construction, which was funded through the voter-approved 2021 Capital Levy.

Phase 1 completed in July 2019 thanks to a 2014 voter-approved Capital Construction Bond. General contractor BNBuilders, aims to complete Phase 2 construction in time for the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

Current layout of Spruce Elementary. Source: Bassetti Architects.
Current State: Front Entry View as of June 23, 2021. Source: Lynnwood Times/Mario Lotmore.

The District plans to move students and staff to the 1,000-capacity former Alderwood Middle School for the 2021-22 school year. The Lynnwood Times obtained exclusive media access at the ceremony. 

Spruce Elementary’s new building will feature an 81,000 square feet two-story main classroom building, a one-story Gymnasium and Commons, north wing, library with an outdoor project area, playfields and equipment, separate bus and parent vehicle routes, additional parking, site improvements of the existing grass play field, emergency vehicle access, and neighborhood pedestrian connections.

To view the Spruce Elementary Brochure Tour click here.

Future layout of Spruce Elementary. Source: Bassetti Architects.
Future State: Front Entry View after Phase 2. Source: Edmonds School District.

According to Spruce Elementary Principal Emily Moore, the former building had been around for 60 years. During that time, the school taught over 24,000 students, served over four million lunches, held over 21,000 recesses, and hosted countless open houses, carnivals, and festivals.

“We celebrate the legacy of this building and its service as we look forward to many more years in the new, future Spruce Elementary,” Moore said.

Boy Scouts of Troop 61 lowering the U.S. Flag at the Spruce Elementary Closing ceremony on June 23, 2021.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 61 lowered Spruce’s flag to be raised at the new building’s future opening. Moore invited attendees to leave their mark by writing a word that will appear on the grand staircase art piece of the new building.

Former Spruce Elementary principals Linda Tripp and Margaret Mesaros appeared with School Board President Dr. Deborah Kilgore and Superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas at the ceremony who thanked the community for investing into the children’s future.

Former Spruce Elementary principals Linda Tripp (right) with a friend.

“This has been a very difficult year for all of us,” Balderas said. “But this is for the kids and the future is bright.” 

The Edmonds School District Board of Directors had originally planned Spruce Elementary’s improvements to be a modernization in 2015 but upgraded to a full replacement project in January 2017.

In June 2017, Spruce Elementary’s replacement project was split into two phases culminating in the new building’s Wednesday groundbreaking.

Superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas breaking ground at the future location of Building 2 of Spruce Elementary on June 23, 2021. Source: Lynnwood Times/Mario Lotmore.

Taine Wilton, ESD Project Manager, said that the project’s total cost is split up into two parts: the construction cost and a soft cost. Wilton said that the construction cost is about $29 million rounded up with the project’s total hard and soft cost of $45.5 million.

Carin Chase, ESD’s Legislative Representative, is excited that the new building is finally going up, which she says is thanks to voters.

“We can move forward with up-to-date safety features and educational opportunities for the kids,” Chase said.

Students breaking ground at the future location of Building 2 of Spruce Elementary on June 23, 2021. Source: Lynnwood Times/Mario Lotmore.

Moore said to everything there is a season and was sad to see the former building go yet is grateful that students and staff have the middle school to host the upcoming school year.

“I feel like everyone went to a school like Alderwood, at least in my generation,” Moore said. “Moving there brings memories of nostalgia and special feelings, especially since it’s seasoned.”

Spruce Elementary Principal, Emily Moore on June 23, 2021. Source: Lynnwood Times/Mario Lotmore.

Kim LaFleur, a 22-year veteran teacher at Spruce, says that it is a bittersweet moment yet is optimistic about Spruce Elementary’s future. 

“We are super looking forward to the new building and cannot wait to serve our community,” LaFleur said.

Parents attending the Groundbreaking ceremony at the Spruce Elementary on June 23, 2021.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s free community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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