Vallivue set to open new high school

Nampa — The final touches on Vallivue’s newest high school are underway. The floors are getting polished, the school colors of burnt-orange, black and white are being plastered across campus and furniture is being placed in classrooms.

“I don’t even have my computer yet, “said Julie Yamamoto, the principal of Ridgevue High School. “I’ve been using my phone to get work done.”

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Workers polish the floors at Ridgevue High, a new school opening Aug. 29 in the Vallivue School District.

When school starts on Aug. 29, Ridgevue High School is expected to be open for 1,100 students and 81 staff members. Teachers have not yet been able to set up classrooms as the district waits to be granted occupancy, which is expected to happen within days.

“We will be ready to rock and roll on the first day,” Yamamoto said. “We have parents ready to volunteer once we get approval to move in.”

Minor details will still be worked on once school is in session — stacking books on the shelves in the library and construction is two-weeks behind on a separate 18,000-square-foot building for agriculture and professional-technical education.

“When opening a new school nothing ever goes as planned,” said Brad Russell, a drafting and manufacturing teacher at Ridgevue. “The teachers will deal with challenges, supplies that didn’t get ordered or dealing with internet issues.”

The newly constructed school is located near the corner of Madison and Linden roads in Nampa.

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The technology department is setting up four computer labs.

Vallivue’s overcrowding

The construction of the building started in the spring of 2014, but the vision started in 2013 when voters approved a $50 million bond to finance the new school — to supplement an overcrowded Vallivue High School.

“It was to the point that students stopped using their lockers at Vallivue High because they couldn’t get them open,” Yamamoto said. “The hallways were packed.”

During the 2015-16 school year, Vallivue High enrollment was at 1,890 students, 390 over capacity. The Vallivue School District is sandwiched between Nampa and Caldwell district’s and is dealing with tremendous residential growth.

Ridgevue has the capacity for 1,800 students.

School features

Ridgevue was designed from Middleton and Vallivue high school blueprints. The school is 250,000 square feet on 65 acres.

  • 68 classrooms
  • Four computer labs
  • 750-seat auditorium
  • 650-seat cafeteria
  • A gym
  • Inside walking track
  • A stadium with a football field and track
  • Eight tennis courts
  • Soccer, baseball and softball fields
  • Marching band practice area

Yamamoto hired 24 new teachers and 31 transferred from Vallivue High.

The Warhawks Ridgevue High School plane logo

Ridgevue will be the home of the Warhawks, named after the P-40 Warhawk aircraft flown in World War II. The community voted for the mascot through an online survey and the school board made the final decision.

“It’s an iconic symbol of hope and the American dream,” Yamamoto said.

During the first home football game on Aug. 26 and on the first day of school on Aug. 29, Nampa’s Warhawk Air Museum will fly an aircraft over the school.

New culture

The goal for students at Ridgevue is to meet every opportunity with honor, self-efficacy, resourceful determination and courageous perseverance.

Yamamoto is excited for the opportunities that will be offered to students —  18 advanced placement courses, five pre-advanced placement courses, dual credit courses, a new Future Farmers of America chapter, co-curricular opportunities through engineering and robotics courses for students to compete in robotics tournaments and 500 chrome books that will be available for students.

“This is a fresh start,” said Vicki Scaggs, an English teacher at Ridgevue. “The teachers have a lot of high energy and are ready to start.”

The district will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for Ridgevue on Friday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m. For more details, click here.