WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Martensen Elementary School In Wheat Ridge is shutting its doors for good. On Saturday the school held an open house for current and former students and staff.
The school is located on West 45th Place. The closing is part of the latest round of budget cuts in Jefferson County.
Old friends got to see each other for the first time in years All attended the open house to relive the time they spent at Martensen Elementary. The school was built in 1954, seeing thousands of students, preschool through 6th grade walk through the halls.
“It was small enough that you didn’t get lost in knowing kids and families,” teacher John Laws said.
“It has been such a community-oriented school that it makes me feel terrible that we had to be the ones who got it,” tutor Madge Klassen said.
“This is one of the best schools in Wheat Ridge,” 5th grader Julia Jacobson said.
The closure is part of the district’s $40 million in budget cuts
“Sad moment, but education is dollar and cents as well as learning,” Laws said.
For many students and staff, past and present, it’s hard letting go.
“Kids in this neighborhood are not going to have the experience that we were blessed to have,” parent Shelly Greenwood said.
“I’ll miss my community, my students, my families, my staf,” Principal Rhonda Hatch-Rivera said. “There’s just so much to miss.”
It’s a tight knit community, but they have each other as they start over somewhere else.
Martensen officially closes May 25. The students will be sent to other schools in the district.
The Jefferson County School Board also cut 212 jobs that includes 110 teaching positions. The remaining staff will also see a 3 percent pay cut.
In addition to Martensen, Zerger Elementary School will also close after this year.