Broadwater Elementary celebrates 130 years

Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-27 12:27:25-04

HELENA — Broadwater Elementary School celebrated its 130th anniversary on Friday.

Students and faculty gathered in the gym to celebrate the school’s anniversary, with students presenting various songs they had been working on to commemorate the event.

Music teacher at Four Georgians Elementary and Broadwater Elementary graduate, Sarah Dramstad, created a song just for the occasion.

In her original piece “Broadwater Cubs” she used musical code while showcasing some of the new instruments provided by the district.

“And also, I inserted a little bit of musical code. So, the middle part of the song, bum bum bum bum bum bum, is actually the word Broadwater in musical code over and over again,” says Dramstad.

Broadwater Elementary was constructed in 1893 and stood for 50 years until in 1942 a new building was created. That building still stands today. An addition was built in the 1960s and the front was redone a handful of years ago.

The school itself was named after Charles Arthur Broadwater, a Montana businessman who worked with the railroad industry as well as started Montana National Bank.

“And he was such an important man in Montana history as well as Helena history that he seemed like a logical choice to name the school after him,” says Jodi Delaney, Montessori teacher at Broadwater.

Delaney dresses in period costumes most days of the week to help educate her students and was the catalyst behind this celebration. Friday, she was dressed in a homemade costume as Lily Elizabeth Rosecrans Toole, the state of Montana’s first first lady.

The celebration hosted former faculty members, parents, and students. They even provided school tours and an array of posterboards that covered each decade since the school’s inception.

“There’s so many things that have happened to this community, that I think the school is ever-changing, ever-evolving, and trying to meet the needs of what do these kids right now need. And that’s not always going to be the same as what it was 10, 20, or 130 years ago. So, we need to acknowledge the past but we’re very focused on what do our kids right now need from us,” says Delaney.