EUGENE, Ore. — It wasn’t a rise from the ashes but a move from them, over and over again, that allowed Ridgeline Montessori School to finally find a new permanent space.
The school’s been moving around Eugene since a fire ruined its old campus four years ago. The school has now spent its first full year at its new forever home.
It was an early morning in June nearly four years ago, when a massive fire delivered a devastating blow that changed Ridgeline Montessori forever.
“After the fire when we lost seven to nine classrooms, we were even at split campuses, and so unfortunately, relax, rejuvenate, plan curriculum, all of that, but we were moving every year,” said Chrystell Reed, Ridgeline Executive Director.
That summer, haunted every summer after that. The school’s burnt remains restricted the entire Ridgeline community as they struggled to reclaim an identity and a permanent location.
“Watching the teachers, knowing that every year at the beginning of the year they were spending an inordinate amount of time unpacking boxes, putting together a classroom for the first time, and at the end of the year packing it back up. Having to do that year after year, it really took its toll,” said Ridgeline parent Yaeko Rodrigues.
But that toll paid off when Ridgeline finally planted permanent roots this year and is happy to know this summer it won’t be spent moving again.
“I think now they can finally start planning, focus on teaching the kids, instead of having to think about the logistics of moving all of the time,” Rodrigues said.
“It’s wonderful knowing this is our forever home and not to be renters at a facility and really think about and strategize and say ‘Okay, what’s the next step that we want to do to make our school better?’” Reed said.
The best part now will always be finally having a place to call home for good. Ridgeline is fitting right into its new community, even volunteering as a cheering section for the Eugene Marathon this weekend.
However, the school is still raising money for its new facilities. If you’d like to donate to Ridgeline’s capital campaign, click here.