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.

Comments (2)
  1. Jim says:

    Hey Ms. Griego,

    I just wanted to correct something you wrote in the article from above. Shelly Greenwood was not a parent of a Martensen student….but actually a Martensen student from 1964 thru 1971. Shelly Greenwood, Tammy Heimerl, Joel Klassen and I (Jim Comnillo) were all from the same class….and were at the event on Saturday. I was standing next to Shelly when you interviewed her. I had not seen her until that moment….for over 40 years! (That is sort of why I was surprised when you stuck the camera in my face too.) She moved to Arvada from 7th grade on! Was nice meeting you there too!


    Jim Comnillo

  2. bob says:

    Another great concept lets devalue the worth of a school and pay politicians extra to do nothing. The classrooms will get bigger and the teachers will try; there will be major educational gaps in the classroom now, more so than before. You think our educational system sucks now…just wait for a year it will get worse. Sooner or later teacher’s will get tired of education, the pay is low as you build up more work for them. The students will become disinterested and fail to accomplish what they need to accomplish. It is a shame in so many ways and the cuts will keep on coming. Until the political joke figures realize that for our children education is an important thing…unless of course these moronic politicians want to keep our kids dumb…it helps them pass things through==with a population of complacent uncaring kids we will wallow in that dark valley waiting for something better to come along. Keep the kids from learning, push the teachers to the breaking point, the only thing left will be government run schools….that is something to look forward to.

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