Bond Project Update: August 2020

Another busy month for Bethel Bond projects

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Builders at work at Katherine G. Johnson Elementary.

Katherine G. Johnson Elementary

It’s been another exciting month at the new Katherine G. Johnson Elementary construction site.

Located on Waller Road between Military at 176th, the school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021 and be home to 700 students. It will also have space for enough portables to house another 200 students. Because of the way the state funds school construction, we can’t build schools to accommodate future growth, if we want to still be eligible for matching funds.

This month our construction crew laid the school’s foundation and began erecting walls. Check out this great drone video to see the team at work.

Even before the new school is completely built, our School Board is working to ensure it has the best leadership possible. This month the Board appointed Chris Brauer to be the first ever principal at Katherine G. Johnson Elementary. Brauer was most recently the Principal at Centennial Elementary and will act as KJE’s “Planning Principal” until the school opens.

Graham-Kapowsin High School expansion

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Overview of GKHS expansion.

Graham-Kapowsin High School is also slated to get a 33,000 square foot expansion that will add a wing of classrooms and increase the square footage of the common areas. Part of that expansion, which is scheduled to be ready for the 2024 school year, will include a full traffic impact analysis, as traffic in the Graham area has been a concern.

This month the school board approved a $224,814 contract with Korsmo Construction for pre-construction services on the school. Because the project is complicated and will be built during normal school hours while the building is being used, the board decided that bringing on a general contractor early in the process allows the district to incorporate measures that will ensure student and staff safety, provide safe internal and external circulation and phasing into the construction documents.

The extra measures during design also help us to continually monitor the construction costs in real-time and give the sub-contractors bidding the project a better understanding of their scope of work.

Earlier this summer six double portable classrooms at the school were moved in preparation for the expansion.

New Bethel High School

This month the School Board authorized the Superintendent to purchase a portion of land owned by Rainier View Church abutting what will become the new Bethel High School.

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Schematic designs show the location of the new BHS on the property.

In 2010, the district attempted to buy 54.3 acres of land from the church. Due to some land-use constraints on the property, we could only purchase 40 acres of the land at that time. Those land-use constraints have now been removed and the remaining property is still needed to meet the school’s needs.

The most recent purchase includes the original 14.2 acres, as well as an area abutting 70th Avenue, which serves as the access to the new Bethel High School, for a total of 15.62 acres.

At August’s Board meeting, Superintendent Tom Seigel praised church leaders for their work in the long process.

“They’ve been great community partners to work with,” he said.

Learn more about the purchase here.

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Helping kids learn is the driving force behind all we do in the Bethel School District.

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