Fire-damaged school reopens in Bellingham

Journal Staff Reporter, Seattle DJC
August 23, 2011

After a 2009 fire extensively damaged historic Whatcom Middle School, people in Bellingham decided they wanted to save it.

“It was a community icon,” said John Jones, principal at the architectural firm Dykeman. “Nobody wanted to see it torn down. Everyone wanted to rebuild it.”

But fire burned the length of the 1903 school’s main building. Jones said the fire coupled with water damage, “essentially destroyed that building. The walls were practically useless.”