Welcome to the New Sumas Elementary

Welcome to the New Sumas Elementary
NV Media

It's a new beginning at Sumas Elementary. And nothing is fresher than the recently completed Sumas Elementary building. 

"The excitement level is high," says first-year Sumas principal Sarah Condreay. "Teachers are going all out decorating their classrooms and preparing to welcome students on that first day of school. Everyone who has walked through the building has been so happy and in awe of this space." 

From the separate cafeteria and gym to the breakout rooms and the library, the fact that every facet of the building is completely new makes Sumas extra ready to welcome K-5 students for the start of school in fall 2022 and well beyond. 

"I think everyone who planned this building was so smart to think ahead to how Sumas could grow," she says. "We are lucky enough to start with six empty classrooms, which leaves us with plenty of wiggle room as our community continues to grow."

Sumas will fill 18 classrooms across two floors on the first day. 

Each grade level has been broken into pods, with extended learning spaces—still visible from the classrooms—outside the classroom doors so groups can collaborate, or students can get some one-on-one instruction without disturbing others. 

The fun features of the building just keep popping up. "The library is pretty incredible," Condreay says. "It has such lovely views and it's even more special to have such a beautiful space after having lost so much in our former library." 

The entire building site was raised six feet—three feet higher than suggested, thanks to a decision from former superintendent Mark Johnson, which kept it from flooding harm in fall 2021—and the entry is double-secure, with visitors needing to be buzzed into the office by staff and then again into the main school space after getting cleared in the office. 

Once inside, a hallway shows off the extent of the classroom and extended learning spaces, while a new gymnasium, cafeteria and what Matt Galley, superintendent, calls the nicest kitchen in the entire district, sit to the left. The gymnasium includes a stage and music room that can be closed off for sound muffling. The cafeteria connects to the gym. 

Sumas was able to keep the former auxiliary gym, now with a new floor. The addition of the new gym and upgrade to the former gym offers the community the ability to "use two really nice facilities," Galley says. 

Each classroom features a smartboard, courtesy of a Digital Equity Grant the district received, and enough space for flexible seating designs, plus small group areas and space for younger students to gather on the floor. 

Staff now have a dedicated lounge, students have an extended covered play area, a field behind the school, a new playground and the school retained the previous playground. New playground equipment designed to serve preschoolers is still on the way. 

Also outside, the site includes a dedicated bus loop and parent loop with additional parking on both the north and south side of the main parking lot. 

The district chose to keep two existing portables, the newest in the district, to help with future growth. For now, they can serve as additional storage and resource areas. 

From different classrooms and locations in the building, the school offers a view of Mount Baker. The views both inside and outside at Sumas couldn't come any more special. 

Dedication Ceremony

A Sumas Welcome Back Carnival is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29. The community is invited to tour the new building, enjoy hot dogs and engage in activities. "We are hoping this is a big celebration for our community," Condreay says, "and a great way to launch into the new school year."