During the boom days of coal mining in Black Diamond during the early 1900's, our community was bursting at the seams with young children who needed an education. If ever there was a consensus #1 priority, it was schools and Black Diamond had a big one - two stories and capable of housing 1st thru 12th grades for a town of about 3,000.
Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, WAS0917, circa 1909
I'd say students dressed a bit differently for school than our children do today. At the time, Black Diamond was an independent school district #160. By 1921, the number of school age children had grown to the point that a separate high school was opened.
Photo courtesy Karl Zumek and the Black Diamond Historical Society, circa 1929
As time went on, however, mines closed and student populations declined. In 1943, Black Diamond High School students began attending Enumclaw High School. After the war, a surge in new students required the demolition of the old two story wood building and construction of a new Black Diamond Elementary which opened in 1963, housing 1st through 8th grades. A few years later in 1975, along with many smaller schools in the state, the Black Diamond school district was dissolved and merged into the Enumclaw School District. Middle school students were bussed to Enumclaw, leaving the Black Diamond Elementary school as it stood until last year, familiar to us all for many years.
Photo courtesy Enumclaw School District, circa 2008
In 2015, Black Diamond Elementary School housed more than 300 students with 40% housed in portables. Only 10 class rooms were housed inside the building. Thanks to a voter approved levee, a new day was dawning. Beginning this fall, Black Diamond will see the opening of a brand new Elementary School and a doubling of class rooms in a complete new building. Much needed meeting space is also now provided.
A dedication ceremony celebrating the opening of the new school is now scheduled for August 7th at 6:30 pm and open to the public. From what I hear, it's outstanding. Plan to attend if you can.