On Oct. 5, Vancouver Public Schools board members and Superintendent Jeff Snell joined contractors and architects to kick off the construction of the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg Elementary School with a groundbreaking ceremony. Site preparation is underway at NE 25th Avenue and NE 88th Street. The expected date of opening, however, is pushed back by one year to fall 2023.
Global pandemic-related shortages of materials such as steel, insulation and other building supplies have caused Vancouver Public Schools to extend the project timeline. A backlog of local permits resulting from the strong construction market also has contributed to the delay.
The new school will house approximately 400 kindergarten through 5th grade students and will help to balance enrollment at nearby schools. The design will highlight the natural environment and offer opportunities for indoor and outdoor learning. It also will incorporate natural light and energy-efficient features.
The school is possible thanks to a construction bond passed by voters in 2017. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Elementary was designed by LSW Architects, Vancouver, Washington. Corp Inc. Construction, Salem, Oregon, is building the school.
Parents, students, staff and community members suggested more than 250 names for the elementary school. Among the suggestions, one name appeared more than any other: that of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Submitters cited her work to advance gender equality and human rights, as well as her demonstration of the importance of physical fitness at all ages. The VPS board of directors voted unanimously in May 2021 to approve the name Ruth Bader Ginsburg Elementary.