local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs

 email us:
 arts and events


Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho


For the week of  October 3 - 9, 2001


New high school officially launched

Leaders, Hailey residents dig in at groundbreaking

"Our focus must be on the greatest resource we have—our children. Their education is the most important thing we can pass on."

- Jim Lewis, Superintendent of Blaine County School District

Express Staff Writer

The new Wood River High School was officially declared a construction site Saturday as various townspeople of note gathered for a festive groundbreaking ceremony. The ceremony took place under sunny skies at the south end of the WRHS football field, known as Homer Field.

The field hosted its last home game of the year Friday night. This year’s seniors celebrated the field’s demise by camping out on it afterward.

Then on Saturday morning, the high school band, the Blaine County School Board members, Hailey Mayor Brad Siemer and Idaho Superintendent of Schools Marilyn Howard came together to usher in the next two years of construction.

Jim Lewis, Superintendent of Blaine County School District, gave a welcoming speech before turning the microphone over to Howard. Both stressed the commitment of the county and the town to the education of the valley’s children.

"This facility will provide recreation and education for every member of the community," Lewis said. The entire campus will include not only facilities for the high school, but classrooms for Blaine County Recreation District, Blaine County Academies, and College of Southern Idaho, which will be offering classes to senior citizens.

"Our focus must be on the greatest resource we have—our children. Their education is the most important thing we can pass on," Lewis said. Construction of the new 180,000-square foot school is scheduled to be begin next spring, and it is scheduled to be open for the 2003 school year.

The new building’s capacity will be 1,100 students. Lewis said earlier he expects the school’s enrollment to stabilize for about five years, after which new classrooms can be added as needed.

Lewis added a special thanks to the whole community for having the courage and foresight to approve the school levy, which is enabling the district to build the new facility. The levy was passed on May 2, 2000 for $37.7 million.

He also spoke about the global world we live in and the need to persevere over the long haul as the Wood River Valley grows.

Lewis, in an amusing aside, said Homer Field—which is named for the retired school superintendent, and has a memorial Homer Field rock—will be re-erected in a new spot in two years. In the meantime he said, "I told Mr. Homer that we would not deliver the rock to his front yard. He said, ‘Thank you.’ "

Howard said she was flattered to be included in the ceremony and offered a "sincere thank you." In mentioning the Sept. 11 disasters on the East Coast and the care given children by their teachers, she said that the groundbreaking was an equally important message to our children: "You are valued."

Also noting the presence of many construction workers, and a large backhoe just next to the ceremony podium, Howard said, "Unlike some groundbreaking ceremonies, this one is the real deal."

Howard, a former teacher, remarked that having worked in schools where roofs leaked and children were often cold, "a good facility makes a difference. This is a special place."

Many students, teachers and Hailey leaders joined the school board in hardhats and shovels to break ground just prior to a backhoe actually completing the work.

"Wow," one school board member was heard to say, as the shovels hit dirt and the band struck up a rousing theme.

"It’s progress," said Al Lindley, the unopposed candidate for the Hailey mayorial position.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.