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Publication Date: Wednesday, May 01, 2002

Gym, new classrooms open at Woodside Elemtary School Gym, new classrooms open at Woodside Elemtary School (May 01, 2002)

By David Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

After five years of effort that included two bond campaigns, a private fund-raising campaign, four years of architectural and bureaucratic preliminary work and one year of actual construction, the campus of Woodside Elementary School has a new gymnasium and six new classrooms for its middle-school students.

"The project is a remarkable example of public/private partnership and perseverance," said Woodside School District Superintendent John Harter.

After the defeat at the polls in 1998 of a $10.2-million bond measure to build a gym and classrooms, school supporters regrouped and launched another bond campaign, this time for $5 million and intended to fund new classrooms only. The measure passed.

The Woodside School Foundation took over the project to build a new gym, having already launched a capital campaign that eventually raised $7.5 million for gym construction.

With the gym now complete, Mr. Harter said the funds remaining from the capital campaign will go toward converting Sellman Auditorium into a multi-use performing arts center with upgraded facilities.

"When Sellman is done, [the school] will have two wonderful places to serve its 500-plus students ... for sports activities, school plays, concerts and on rainy days," Mr. Harter said. Other potential uses to be looked into are community theater and adult basketball, he said.

The nearly 10,000-square-foot gym has a sophisticated parquet floor that consists of more than 15,000 pieces of maple. Underneath are two layers of plywood sub-flooring laid in alternating directions for strength and resting on a set of rubber feet. The floor is designed to be easy on the knees of basketball players, Mr. Harter said.

The gym has collapsible bleachers along one side and six adjustable basketball hoops that can be raised out of the way and stored.

Each of the six new classrooms is 900 square feet with an exposed roof beam running the length of the room. Each room is wired for Internet use; a total of 4.2 miles of data cabling went into the new classrooms, according to statistics provided by the project contractor, Dan Williamson.

In keeping with teachers' requests, Mr. Williamson said that the classroom walls are thumb-tack-compatible all the way up to the ceiling.


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