New Marysville school ready for first day

MARYSVILLE — Video projectors hung from classroom ceilings, waiting to be installed.

Cardboard boxes ready for unpacking sat stacked in the gym.

Books, pencils and bulletin board borders lay in piles in teachers’ classrooms.

As the back-to-school clock ticks toward Sept. 2, faculty and staff at Grove Elementary in Marysville are busy preparing the school for its first first day of school.

“It’s a dream come true,” said fourth-grade teacher John Hewitt, as he unloaded boxes in his classroom at Grove. “It’s a career goal that’s long awaited. I’ve always wanted, once in my career, to open a new school.”

Grove Elementary is the first taxpayer-funded school to open in Marysville since Quil Ceda Elementary in 1993.

About 400 students are expected to attend Grove this fall, with enrollment eventually growing to a maximum of 550 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The school was built a year ahead of schedule, with less than the $20 million budgeted, said John Bingham, capital projects director for the Marysville School District.

The district saved money by incorporating eight portables into the design. Grove takes advantage of a state funding formula that rewards districts that use portables, Bingham said.

In order to make the portables feel more like traditional classrooms, they are attached to hallways that extend into the main conventionally built portion of the building. The units’ exteriors are designed to “camouflage” into the rest of the school, Bingham said.

Grove Elementary is painted in earthy shades of yellow, brown and green. Students will enter the building under an archway of fir beams. Inside, they’ll climb fir stairs to the second floor.

The school is the first to be built from a $118 million bond taxpayers passed in 2006. The bond is also expected to fund the construction of Marysville Getchell High School. As is standard, the state contributed some money to both projects.

Bingham said it feels good to have one of the schools just about finished.

“It’s a big relief,” he said, walking through Grove’s lobby. “There’s a lot of people who worked very, very hard to get to this point — complete and open.”

Reporter Kaitlin Manry: 425-339-3292 or

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