District to host ground-breaking at new QHS site
A new era looms for the community of Quincy and its students.
Before the end of this decade, Quincy will have a brand-new high school, and the next step toward that goal happens Wednesday at 4 p.m. with the official ground-breaking ceremony.
“It’s a thrill for our whole system to be able to, in a small, rural community like Quincy, to be able to do a $64 million, state-of-the-art-high school,” said John Boyd, superintendent of Quincy School District. “We are all just super thrilled and excited.”
Bill “Coach Alex” Alexander, who recently retired from Quincy High School, said in a text message: As a 30 year resident/teacher/coach/parent, I am extremely excited over our new high school! In communities our size the high school and its facilities are often the center of the town. As I am very activities oriented, it will be incredible to showcase our new facility to others … PAC, stadium, farm, gym, etc. It will be an incredible facility to match our incredible students, faculty and the town of Quincy.
The construction bids came in at budget, with Pasco’s Fowler Construction submitting the winning bid.
The district has stretched the budget a little in order to build a barn and a greenhouse for the agriculture program, plus a synthetic turf field for soccer and football, Boyd said.
Boyd praised the many factors that led to the approval of a $108 million dollar bond in February 2016 for the construction.
“It’s really a perfect storm of a robust economy,” he said. “And a forward-thinking and progressive community, a school board that is gutsy and willing to take a chance and see how this thing would go, and a really committed group of people that went out and engaged people around the bond. A lot of wonderful things coming together.”
One of those engaged people was Tierra Bierlink, who helped run the social media side for the bond campaign. She marveled at how the bond campaign, which started with one lone meeting, has now evolved into three new gymnasiums, an elementary school on the way, and now a ground-breaking ceremony for a new high school
“It is unbelievable,” Bierlink said. “We went to one meeting, and we were all there just to get information about the upcoming school bond, and it just kept growing.”
The new high school promises to add to the community’s growth for decades to come, district leaders say.
“It’s going to prepare our kids for 21st century jobs,” assistant superintendent Nik Bergman said, later adding, “and with our city’s tagline of ‘Opportunities Unlimited,’ I think it’s going to provide a lot of opportunities for our students.”
The ground-breaking will occur at 403 M St. NE. The 67-acre property is one of two that the school district owns and that could accommodate a high school. One falls outside of the Urban Growth Area, and it would have required expensive infrastructure improvements, Boyd said.
The other has a bigger upside, Boyd said. “Right now it feels like it’s on the edge of town, but it’s a growing community, so we think the site is nice for what we can do. There’s plenty of room.”
The project will require about 55 of the 67 acres, Boyd added, and since the land is on a bit of higher ground, the school will look higher than its surroundings.
“It will showcase nicely,” Boyd said.
The ceremony itself will be low-key on Wednesday, he said. The band and the choir will perform, followed by speeches and the traditional scooping of dirt with the shovels.
“It’s not going to be a giant affair, but, again, we are really excited, and it signals the beginning of a huge endeavor we are embarking on,” Boyd said.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org