Two new West Ada schools open today

MERIDIAN — A new elementary and middle school is set to bust open the doors the first day of school, easing congestion in the West Ada School District. These additions will accommodate 1,315 students.

Victory Middle School

The newly constructed school is located near the corner of Victory and Linder roads in Meridian. Enrollment is expected to be at nearly 800 students with 35 teachers and 30 staff members.

“The school was designed and equipped with the best and latest technology both for instruction as well as for safety and security,” said Bret Heller, the principal at Victory Middle School.

The school features include:

  • 55 classrooms
  • Two computer labs
  • Library with a computer area
  • Tennis courts
  • Football field
  • Soccer fields

All the classrooms have a new type of projector (Epson throw projector) that projects onto a typical white board, but allows the white board to have interactive touch features of a SMART board or Promethean board. Plus, every classroom has Promethean clickers used to quickly collect assessment data in class.

“This is a once-in-a-career opportunity for a principal,” Heller said. “The staff energy is unbelievable. They have all come in with amazing attitudes about the work that needs to be done. ”

Victory Middle School

Hillsdale Elementary School

This new school is located near the corner of Amity and Eagle roads in Meridian. Enrollment is expected to hit 515 students with 25 teachers and 25 staff members. Hillsdale has a partnership with the Meridian Library District and the YMCA. A full-time city of Meridian librarian will be on staff and the YMCA will have a room for the before- and after-school programs.

The school features include:

  • 23 classrooms
  • One large computer lab
  • Two story building
  • Flexible seating in classrooms — standing desks, bean bag chairs and stools
  • Epson throw projectors

“This is a community connections school — the staff and I want kids to be ready for a new style of education,” said Khristie Bair, the principal at Hillsdale Elementary School. “The students will be innovated and creative in a new building.”

Hillsdale1

West Ada’s overcrowding

West Ada, Idaho’s largest school district, is projected to serve 38,213 students this school year — an increase of 1,213 students from the previous year.

“Victory Middle School and Hillsdale Elementary mean a lot in terms of reducing overcrowding,” said district spokesman Eric Exline. “Siena and Mary McPherson elementary schools are now at or under capacity because of the relief provided by Hillsdale.”

Voters passed a $96 million bond in March of 2015. That bond went to finance building projects including:

  • The building of Victory Middle School south of Interstate 84 to reduce overcrowding at Lake Hazel Middle School at a cost of $30 million. Nearly 1,500 students attended Lake Hazel, a school built for 1,000.
  • The building of Hillsdale Elementary School south of Interstate 84 to relieve overcrowding at the elementary schools south of the freeway at a cost of $14.7 million.
  •  A new middle school in Star to relieve overcrowding at Eagle Middle and Heritage Middle at a cost of $30 million. Set to open fall 2018.
  • Completion of the Meridian High School remodel and expansion to update the classrooms and relieve overcrowding at Rocky Mountain and Mountain View at a cost of $24 million. Set to be completed fall 2017.
  • And a land purchase of $2 million for site of a future high school.