VIEWPOINT | Bayview School is doing fine, and that’s no joke

meone tells you a story that is shocking or unlikely or disturbing and you find yourself getting more and more upset or puzzled or concerned.


By Lynnaea



You know how it is. Someone tells you a story that is shocking or unlikely or disturbing and you find yourself getting more and more upset or puzzled or concerned.

And then suddenly, after a sufficient pause, the storyteller blurts out “April Fools!” and everyone laughs and feels a little silly for having believed the story in the first place.

This is a bit like our experience reading Ben Watanabe’s article “Tardy school tenants slapped with conditions,” about Bayview School in the March 30 South Whidbey Record. Initially upset, puzzled and concerned.

What? How could that be? Are you kidding? And more, how could we and the four non-profit teams working together day and night sanding, painting, carpeting and otherwise transforming Bayview School not know this?

Well, “April Fools” folks.

While not an intentional prank or joke on anyone’s part, more a series of minor miscommunications, the spirit of the April Fools’ Day Trickster was at work here.

We are not anywhere near being evicted, unless of course you’re talking about the butterfly of a whole new enterprise soon to be evicted from the cocoon of construction.

Not only are our utilities all paid up, but we’ve collectively invested $17,000 and hundreds of volunteer hours in transforming Bayview School into a really fun, cool, gorgeous, creative adult education center for Whidbey Island. Truly a butterfly about to emerge. We are so excited.

For those of you who’ve been to the school in its other incarnations, you simply won’t believe it. Lauryn Taylor (co-owner of Timbuktu and a fine artist) has created an awe-inspiring art studio and has already begun offering her own classes as well as opening the space for other courses, workshops and open studios.

The Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (sponsor of an MFA in Creative Writing, the Whidbey Island Writers Association, Whidbey Island Writers Conference and the literary publication, Soundings Review) shares the downstairs offices with New Stories and the Whidbey GeoDome.

The dome itself can be inflated upstairs and will be a draw for community gatherings as well as a home base for production teams for immersive visual storytelling.

Upstairs, Rich Parker and the WICEC team are coalescing a roster of adult education classes that range from photography to computers to t’ai chi to healing trauma. They’ve already begun. There is so much more to share, so please keep a look out for notices of upcoming programs.

And did we tell you that the upstairs halls and classrooms are galleries for solo and group exhibitions for local artists?

We’ll be having our first open house on April 27, during the opening of the Farmers Market at Bayview, as well as our first artists’ reception that evening.

So come on over and see the magic. You’ll be as excited as we are.


Lynnaea Lumbard (president) and Jeff Vander Clute (ED): New Stories ( Rick Ingrasci (director): Whidbey GeoDome Project (whidbey Duncan Ferguson (board chair) and Rich Parker (ED): Whidbey Island Community Education Center ( Allan Ament (board chair) and Kimberly Cottrell (ED): Northwest Institute for Literary Arts ( Lauryn Taylor (ED): The Art Center@WICEC.