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June 5, 2018 > Huskies turn out for groundbreaking

Huskies turn out for groundbreaking

Submitted By Robin Michel

Washington High School Husky Pride was evident as a sea of student and teaching staff alumni returned to the school to watch a recent ceremonial groundbreaking for a new two-story science building on the schoolÕs Fremont Boulevard campus.

ÒAs I stand here, I realize I need to buy an orange tie,Ó said Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board President, Dr. Yang Shao, who plans to wear it while celebrating the opening. Shao said that he had personally visited the current science labs and spoke about the importance of providing Silicon Valley students with first-rate science laboratories. ÒAs a scientist, I feel the urgent need to improve and upgrade our science labs and provide the very best education we can afford to the next generation.Ó

Retired FUSD educator Bob Foster, who taught biology, ecology and marine biology at Washington High School for 18 years, had a front row seat. ÒThe Science Department at Washington is the very best you could have,Ó said Foster, who retired in 2000. He remembers the student body as being exceptionally outstanding. ÒThe students have curiosity and respect for each other.Ó

Foster and other retired teachers from the schoolÕs science department still meet weekly. Before the ceremony began, Foster said he expected other Husky alumni would turn out for the event. Also joining the festivities was his friend and former colleague Keith Kato, a longtime educator at Washington High School who taught biology for 20 years and coached tennis before retiring in 2002.

WHS Principal Bob Moran quickly introduced himself to the retired science department teachers and happily shook their hands. ÒYou taught here when I was a student,Ó he told them. Yes, Principal Moran, Class of Õ87, is a proud Husky graduate.

Other notable graduates attending the groundbreaking included Fremont City Councilmembers David Bonaccorsi, Class of Õ79, and Raj Salwan, Class of Õ92. Also, there was Fremont City Councilmember Rick Jones, who served as a Washington High School Resource Officer for nine years, and Fremont Mayor Lily Mei, a former FUSD School Board member.

Originally built in 1936, classrooms have been added to the campus throughout the years. However, enrollment continues to grow, and the school is in desperate need of more classrooms and updated science labs, according to Moran.

The $13.3 million project is funded by Measure E, a $650 million general obligation bond initiative passed by Fremont voters in June 2014 to update Fremont schools and facilities. The Washington High School project will provide six classrooms and six science laboratories in two buildings. The design will complement the beauty of the schoolÕs original faŤade which was restored and preserved in 2005.

ÒNothing just happens,Ó said WHS Student Body President David Mesropyan, ÒIt has taken the work of many people to bring [the project] forward, and it will take the work of many more to complete it.Ó The two-classroom building will be open for students this fall and the science building will be open in fall 2019.

Inviting Huskies and key project members to grab a shovel, FUSD Superintendent Dr. Kim Wallace said, ÒThe only thing now standing in our way, is that pile of dirt!Ó
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To see a video of the Washington High School groundbreaking, visit the FUSD website at www.fremont.k12.ca.us

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