"Let's Meet at The Waypoint!"

Amongst the colorful umbrellas & rain drops, community members gathered for the dedication and grand opening of The Waypoint park located at the corner of Highway 305 and Winslow Way.  This prominent corner is located at the first major traffic light after getting off the ferry and for years was an eyesore. It was an abandoned 76 station, then a vacant lot surrounded by chain link fence, and now has been transformed into a delightful public park that serves as an artistic gateway to Winslow Way.  Designed by John Paul Jones, the same architect that designed the National Museum of the Native American in Washington DC, it is a public space worthy of praise and civic pride.

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The Hometown Brass Band & Bethany Lutheran Brass Band provided jovial entertainment, attracting curious passerby to the event.

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This truly was an impressive community project, with over 700 volunteer workers and donors.  

There were many thanks expressed by Debbi Lester (former BI mayor), Bruce Weiland (head of the steering committee), Jim Chapel (volunteer coordinator extraordinaire), and BI's current mayor Steve Bonkowski.  And BI Park District Commissioner Tom Swolgaard, promised to maintain the park and committed that "It will look as good 20 years from now as it does today."

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This park could not have been completed without generous time and contributions.  

BI Rotary Club donated $80,000
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
PHC volunteered time and supplies in completing the project
Over 500 "little checks" from community members
Bloedel Reserve donated over 500 volunteer hours in planting

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The ceremony ended with the traditional cutting of the ribbon by Jim Chapel, Steve Bonkowski, and Tom Swolgaard.  Not bad for a former 76 gas station!


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While the park currently has wonderful features like downtown maps and Historical Markers representing the "flow of time" of the island, there is still more to come... the donor board, customized glass tiles, local artwork, and a large "Welcome to Bainbridge Island" sign.

As Jim Chapel said, next time you need to meet someone downtown, you can say "Let's meet at The Waypoint!"



Bainbridge Island Schools: Here, You Have Choices

Living in Seattle and most communities, you often have to move or commute long distances to give your children an alternative education. One of the special things about living on Bainbridge Island is that there are many public choices for alternatives to traditional education right here in the community.

When choosing a school district for our children, we don't always know what they are going to need as they grow. It's great to be able to stay in the same community of friends while giving the kids that need it, alternative teaching methods. 

The Bainbridge Island School District offers an array of programs, including:

Wilkes Multiage Program.LOGO
Wilkes Multiage Program.LOGO
Spanish Immersion Partnership.LOGO
Spanish Immersion Partnership.LOGO
Odyssey Multiage Program.LOGO
Odyssey Multiage Program.LOGO
Mosaic Home Education.LOGO
Mosaic Home Education.LOGO
Eagle Harbor High School.LOGO
Eagle Harbor High School.LOGO

The New Wilkes School

2013 Feb.Wilkes School Open House.BLOG.StairwellOn Saturday, February 2, Wilkes Elementary invited the public to share in their new space.  The self-guided tour allowed guests to freely explore the 62,800-square-foot facility that boasted bright colors and natural light.  There was a "Wow!" at every corner.

You’ll probably recognize the Seattle-based architects, Mahlum Architects, from the Bainbridge High School 200 Building project in which they received the 2009 AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards, Citation Award.  Well, Mahlum Architects outdid themselves again by including large, expansive windows, colorful walls, and ensuring a smooth cohesive flow of the building.  Pair that with a dynamic support team and teaching staff, and you have a winning combination for a great school.  Both a parent and a child's dream!

 2013 Feb.Wilkes School Open House.BLOG.Classroom 2

Some impressive features include:

  • 17 classrooms
  • Shared learning spaces, allowing for large group, small group, or one-on-one interactions
  • Student gardens
  • Computer lab
  • Highly efficient and sustainable systems (heating, plumbing, lights)
  • Smartboards in every room (Combines a simple whiteboard with the power of a computer)

2013 Feb.Wilkes School Open House.BLOG.Cafeteria-1

 Instead of the students hauling their lunches to their classroom, they can now share in the ritual that is the school cafeteria.

2013 Feb.Wilkes School Open House.BLOG.Gym

Talk about community commitment!  The gym (pictured above) was built in partnership with the Bainbridge Island Park District, allowing the Parks District to offer after-school activities and classes.

  2013 Feb.Wilkes School Open House.BLOG.Library Computer Lab2013 Feb.Wilkes School Open House.BLOG.Library 1



Who wouldn't want to snuggle in this comfy space and get lost in the magical world of Harry Potter?  Or research U.S. History at the computer lab?


To view Wilkes' Washington State Report Card, click here.






Wilkes Elementary School.LOGO

Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary School

Grades K-4

Address:  12781 Madison Ave. NE

Main Office Phone: (206) 842-4411

Website: www.bisd303.org/wes

Wilkes PTO:  wilkespto.org