Gene Mack, Mack Elementary School's namesake, addresses the audience at the dedication of the school on Sunday. Dan Ribrera, principal, looks on.
What began in September of 1990 with a meeting between Gene and Marie Mack and Chuck Pasma, Bellevue Christian School Superintendent, came to a happy conclusion on Sunday with the dedication of Bellevue Christian's Mack Elementary School in Woodinville.
Hundreds of parents, students, teachers, and supporters attended the dedication on the new campus.
The program included Sharon Bailey, preschool director and originator of Woodinville Campus in 1985, who spoke of the commitment since the fall of 1984 when the vision developed for Christian education in Woodinville. Carolyn Holbrook, principal from 1986-1991 and teacher through 1995, spoke of the growth of the school and the many locations needed until the time came to build the new school. Don DeLair, principal from 1991-1993, returned to lead the inspirational singing. Northshore Brass and the BCHS Kantorei, under the direction of Joel Ulrich, performed.
Dan Ribera, the principal of Mack Elementary, spoke of the students who would be in class the next day after a two-week hiatus due to the snow and ice.
Those honored included Dr. Albert E. Greene, who founded BCS; Gene and Marie Mack, who owned the 10-acre site located across from Mack's Corner Grocery on the Woodinville-Duvall Road and 168th NE; E. Kent Halverson, the general contractor who is a 1973 graduate of Bellevue Christian; and Alan Sclater, the architect.
The school's top priority in developing the 10-acre Woodinville campus is to provide permanent facilities for the K-6 program that has been operated in leased space in the Woodinville United Methodist Church's facility, the Sorenson School, and the old Floor Decor building in Woodinville over the last 10 years.
Construction on the new elementary school began in the spring of 1995, and Phase I of Mack Elementary opened Monday morning, Feb. 12, with the cutting of a ribbon and 120 students attending classes. The new campus includes administration offices, a permanent classroom building, five portable classrooms, and playground equipment.
A special feature of the new school is a learning resource center which houses a library with a "teepee" style reading circle with fir logs cut from the site and peeled; and computer, resource, enrichment, and academic therapy rooms.
"The site work on this property was challenging, especially with the weather considerations. The volunteer effort was extraordinary. A soccer field will be built this summer. The next two phases will include two more classroom buildings and a multi-purpose/gymnasium facility," said Halvorson.
Ribera spoke of the appreciation for the Macks, their cooperation, and support. "They have been very excited and patient with this project and have been out here every day during the construction," Ribera said.
The Mack Elementary Campus, Bellevue Christian School, is located at 18250 168th Place NE. For information, call 485-1824.