It's all new at Marshdale Elementary: School opens with help from alums, former staff

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/28/22

New rooms, new routines, new everything — the students and staff at Marshdale Elementary are settling in to their new school building.

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It's all new at Marshdale Elementary: School opens with help from alums, former staff

Posted

New rooms, new routines, new everything — the students and staff at Marshdale Elementary are settling in to their new school building.

Members of the past and current Marshdale community joined together on Oct. 24 to usher in a new legacy in the new 50,000-square-foot building that took about 19 months to build. After principal Zak Martin cut a ribbon, students walked a red carpet to enter the school, getting their first look at their classrooms.

The Conifer High School drumline and cheerleaders — all Marshdale alums — keep things rocking as students entered the building, while alums and former staff lined the main hall for a clap-in.

As you enter the building, you see a mural painted on the wall across from the office: “It’s up to you how far you’ll go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.”

Staff voted on the saying last year as the building was being designed.

On another wall are slices of a large tree that had to be removed to make way for the new school. Staff explained that the tree had been special for the school community, so it was important to commemorate it for current and future students.

Former teachers and students gathered in the cafeteria before the grand-opening ceremony with many impressed most by the numerous windows throughout the building because the old building had many rooms with no windows at all.

‘We rise by lifting others’

For fifth grader Enzo Peters, the large windows are a nice change, especially with the beautiful views. He was also surprised that the library has rows of books rather than shelves just along the walls.

Fifth grader Hannah White loves the new gymnasium with its hardwood floor and a mural on a hallway wall that says, “We rise by lifting others,” saying the sentiment represents Marshdale.

She noted that the new school, which feels so much bigger than the old building, has a new-school smell, and she misses the smell from the old building.

“It wasn’t a bad smell,” she explained. “It was a comforting smell.”

‘Halls of positive, good memories’

A few Conifer High School students took a final look at the old building, saying they didn’t remember the school being as small as it was.

Junior Kaiya Paul said she felt nostalgic walking through the building.

“These are halls of positive, good memories,” junior Shayne Manzer added.

Dad Chris Ashbaugh attended Marshdale when he was young, and now his third grader Reagan is at the school. Chris called the new building beautiful and awesome, while Reagan was excited that Black Mountain, featured on a wall in the school, is where the family lives.

Mom Tommi McFadden, also a Marshdale alum with a kindergartner there, said she was sad to see the old building go, but noted that the students deserve to be educated in the bright, new building.

‘Blown away’

Retired Marshdale teacher Barb Grindle spent the week before the opening helping move items into the first-grade classrooms.

“This building is fabulous,” said Grindle, who started at Marshdale as a substitute teacher in 1994 and retired in 2019 after teaching second, third and fourth grade. “I’m blown away.”

She and several retired staff members reiterated their awe over the many large windows in classrooms, the office, cafeteria, gymnasium and more.

“This is such a gorgeous spot,” noted Paula Woodside, who was Marshdale’s instructional coach from 2008 to 2011. She said she came to the grand opening to see her friends who have also retired and to celebrate with the current teachers.

‘A building is just a building’

PTA President Abby Redwine and Fundraising Vice President Lara Nusbaum organized the grand opening, and the PTA also paid for around 20 Smartboards for each classroom.

“This is a beautiful, modern school,” Nusbaum said. “There are different textures and murals on the walls. It’s not just a sterile school. It has a lot of heart.”

Marshdale is a special school because of its people, Redwine added, “because a building is just a building.”

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