150+ Gather on EHS Baseball Field to "Dig Deep"
Voices cracked with emotion and jubilance during a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for a new Evergreen High School on May 19.
More than 150 students, staff, alumni, elected officials, neighbors and community members gathered in bright sunlight on the baseball field to celebrate with speeches, a banner thanking voters, and 10 gold shovels with 10 green bows!
Photos, Design Renderings & Construction Updates
- More photos of the event can be viewed in our May 21, 2023 Facebook post.
- See the design renderings from Bassetti Architects, and check on the timeline and progress of the Evergreen High School construction project. Bookmark it or use this URL: gethps.info/BuildEHS.
State Senator Joe Nguyen, representing the 34th District, said that he grew up nearby in the former Park Lake Homes public housing, which has now been redeveloped as Greenbridge. He recalled memories of playing on the sand soccer field and assisting his sister in creating posters during her tenure as ASB president at Evergreen.
"This is more than just a building, more than just a school," Sen. Nguyen said. "This is a commitment. This is an investment in our youth... our future... in White Center."
ASB President Kevin Hoang thanked voters and talked about the loving community within Evergreen High School and his desire to "put White Center on the map!"
Many thank yous were expressed, including to the design review committee and to the three principals who helped with design review and planning, which was funded by the previous 2016 bond: Jacqueline Downey, Sara Grant and Simón Iñiguez.
Superintendent Ivan Duran thanked the residents who serve on Highline's Capital Facilities Advisory Committee for their bond recommendation. He recognized volunteer co-chairs Kyla Blair and Long Phan of Yes for Highline, the non-profit campaign committee that supports Highline bonds and levies. He thanked the alumni and staff of Evergreen High School, and the amazing White Center community.
"This is an important day, and this has been a long time coming," Dr. Duran said. "When we passed our bond in November 2022, we passed it with an almost 70 percent approval rate, which is one of the highest rates we've had in recent history."
"I want to thank our entire community for the passage of the bond because this allows us to not only rebuild Evergreen, but also Tyee High School and Pacific Middle School, which are also schools that have been waiting a long time for a new facility."
School Directors Azeb Hagos and Aaron Garcia Virgen attended the ceremony. Garcia Virgen led the crowd in cheers of "EHS," then thanked the five communities in the Highline Public Schools boundaries who found a way to work together in approving the school bond. He also gave a shout-out to former school board members Tyrone Curry, Bernie Dorsey, Fai'zah Bradford and Sili Savusa.
Design & Construction Information
The final design renderings from Bassetti Architects were available on a number of display boards for guests to see.
Bryan Gormley, Vice President of Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc., shared information about Cornerstone and the construction plans for the new Evergreen.
"Our team for your project brings experience constructing eight high school facilities across six school districts in western Washington," Gormley said. "All of those were successfully built on occupied sites very similar to Evergreen High School."
He said that the construction team members are visitors in our community and will do their best to minimize disruptions as they build a modern learning facility for our students, staff and community. "Keeping your students, the staff and the community safe during our time here is our highest priority," he said.
He listed the following measures:
- Keeping all construction trade parking on site—no neighborhood parking.
- Minimizing deliveries during high traffic windows, such as drop-off and pick-up times.
- Implementing measures to keep streets clean at the construction entrance and exits.
- Controlling dust during summer months.
- Planning strict adherence to work hours.
- Providing clearly defined construction fences and barriers between the work area and the occupied parts of the campus.
- Posting signs providing an email and telephone number to contact regarding construction operations.
The presentation and speakers included:
- Welcome in Spanish, Vietnamese and English
- Land acknowledgement by students Kalkidan and Richi
- Principal Simón Iñiguez
- ASB President Kevin Hoang
- Chief of Operations Scott Logan
- Superintendent Ivan Duran
- School Director Aaron Garcia Virgen
- State Sen. Joe Nguyen, 34th District
- Yes for Highline Co-chair Long Phan
- Executive Director of Capital Planning & Construction Ellie Daneshnia
- Principal Architect Dan Miles, Bassetti Architects
- Vice President Darnell Cola, Vanir Construction Management Inc.
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director Vicki Puckett, Cornerstone GCI
- Vice President Bryan Gormley, Cornerstone GCI
- Raza de oro - EHS student musicians