Crews begin demolishing elementary school north of Bellingham

Irene Reither Primary replaced by new school


LAUREL - The walls started coming down on the old Irene Reither Primary School Tuesday morning, Feb. 11.

Tiger Construction has been doing demolition preparation over the last few weeks for the primary school, which was built in 1973. Though the most visible work - knocking down walls - was scheduled for Tuesday, complete demolition and debris removal likely will take another few weeks.

The site will be seeded in the spring and become a new play field, said Superintendent Tom Churchill.

The name continues to honor Irene Reither, who spent 40 years of her teaching career in the district and volunteered for 18 years after her retirement before her death in 1995, according to the district.

Students from the primary school and Ten Mile Elementary School moved into the new school after winter break. Construction started in summer 2012 on the new 60,704 square-foot school to house the district's elementary school students.

Money for the new elementary school came from a bond voters approved in February 2010 and from state construction funds.

Ten Mile will stay standing and be used to house the district's Meridian Parent Partnership Program, often referred to as MP3. The program lets parents partner with the district to collaboratively educate their children. It's akin to homeschooling, but with a network of professional educators providing curriculum and teaching support.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or

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