Ellis Elementary Reopens With A New Design That Pays Homage To The School’s Heritage

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Students were bused to Hillcrest Elementary School while the new school was being built, which began in June 2020. Students were overjoyed last week when they discovered their new school in an old, familiar site.

“It felt a lot like the week leading up to Christmas or summer break,” said Principal Doug Beach. “It felt like the first day of school, but in February.”

Faculty and staff at Ellis have been hard at work relocating their materials from Hillcrest in order to get school started in the new facility. Teachers would spend their days teaching and their evenings shifting essentials to get their classrooms ready in the week leading up to the opening.

Before it was demolished, Ellis Elementary had been in operation since 1863, making it Utah’s oldest continuously operational school. Ellis Elementary School is home to many multi-generational families in Cache Valley.

Beach, an alumni of the institution, was delighted that the new design would pay homage to the school’s history while still incorporating current learning technology.

“It’s a real cool modern school building, but it kind of looks like a traditional school building, which we were hoping to accomplish,” Beach said.

Frank Schofield, the superintendent of Logan School District, enabled the Ellis community to provide input on the school’s design and placement. The bell tower and typical red brick are the school’s distinguishing features.

Ellis Elementary’s history will be commemorated on a wall within the school. Photographs from the school’s archives, as well as a written narrative about the school’s history, will be on exhibit.

“Even though the campus has changed,” Beach said, “we’re still in the same place of Logan that it was 157 years ago.”

Even though school has started, there is still a lot of work to be done. However, having the school back in their neighborhood makes it all worthwhile for many teachers, parents, and kids.

“The anticipation of being in a new school outweighed any frustration or worry that they had about moving mid-year,” said Shana Longhurst, the district’s communications specialist. “It was thrilling to see the excitement of the families to be in this beautiful facility.”

According to Longhurst, the district will throw an open house for members of the community once some landscaping and trim work is completed later this spring.