Ring it up

A new high school now boasts a ringing relic from the school district’s past.

Ironworkers installed an old bell at Coupeville High School over the weekend. That bell is said to be the same one that used to call children to school in Coupeville in the early 20th Century. That bell has been in storage since the four-classroom building was demolished in the 1940s.

In its new incarnation, the old bell will help give the new high school the distinctive entryway that the community wanted.

“It gives the finishing touch to the front out there,” said Gary Goltz, school district construction manager, of the bell that was placed on top of a tall tower near the new school’s main entrance. Lights will be installed to make the bell more visible.

The idea for a bell came when the new school was being designed. Planners wanted something distinctive to mark the main entrance to the school. Plans called for a brick structure that will allow a place for a flag and a bell.

The Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington, Whidbey Island Chapter 6, provided the bell for the school district.

Joanne Engle Brown, member of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington, said the group acquired the bell in 1980. When members heard of a belltower being built at the new high school, it was decided it would be a good idea for the school district to have the old bell.

She said it seemed more appropriate for the school district to have the bell rather than having it collect dust somewhere.

With the bell installed atop the tower, the high school shop class is making a device that will allow people to ring the bell from the ground. It will be rung during celebrations.

The Coupeville School Board formally accepted the bell donation during its Monday evening meeting. Should the bell ever have to be removed from its spot at the high school, then it would be returned to the Daughters of the Pioneers for safekeeping.

Goltz said it was great that the community worked together to get a bell that will ring out over the new Coupeville High School.

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