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Posted 2/23/16 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

There is an old saying that says, “it takes a village to raise a child.” But on Monday, Feb. 15, when nearly 1,000 area residents turned out to help dedicate Watford City’s new high school, it was obvious that it takes an entire community to build a new school!
As much as Monday’s dedication ceremonies were about the new school’s opening, it was as much a celebration of how Watford City and all of the patrons of the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 came together to make the construction of this $53 million, 167,672-square foot school a reality.
Without a doubt, the new high school is very impressive, as it should be with its gleaming windows that offer unbelievable views in every direction, the state-of-the-art classrooms, the ultramodern library and cafeteria, the new spacious gymnasium, and the soon-to-be-completed theatre.
Watford City’s new high school is a showcase for what education can, and should be. When you drive into the school’s parking lot and view the exterior of the building, it is an impressive sight. But while the exterior is impressive, the interior design is even more astounding with its wide-open floor plan, as well as spacious classrooms and commons areas.
As much as the new school is a showcase for Watford City, it is a testament to the high priority that the patrons of the school district place on our children receiving a quality education. At a time when our school district’s enrollment had swelled from 500 to over 1,200 students, everyone understood that a new high school was needed. And by an unprecedented 90 percent “yes” vote, area residents gave the school board a green light to begin construction of the school.
And on Feb. 16, when students began classes for the first time in the new Watford City High School, it was the culmination of a dream and lots of hard work by everyone involved.
But as we have seen time and time again for the past two decades, when Watford City needs to have something done whether it’s revamping its Main Street, building new recreation facilities, or handling the needs of a town that is growing from 1,500 to 7,500 people, we find a way to do it.
It’s called the “Watford City way!”
And on Monday, Feb. 15, we celebrated yet another “Watford City way” of getting things done. The new Watford City High School will long stand as a symbol of this community’s belief that together there is nothing that we can’t accomplish.