With each passing month we’re getting closer to finishing our newest school, Katherine G. Johnson Elementary.
Construction crews continue to make amazing progress at the site, located on Waller Road between Military and 176th. The roof on the school’s A wing is now fully installed and workers can begin the process of putting in electrical wiring. The roof on the B wing should be installed in the next two weeks.
Earlier this month we held a COVID-delayed ceremonial groundbreaking at the site, where members of our School Board got a chance to reflect on the project.
“I want to thank all the voters and the community for voting ‘yes’ for this school,” said Board Vice President Roseanna Camacho. “But it’s not just a yes to this school, it’s a yes to education, it’s a yes to children, and it’s a yes to the community and the future of education within this community.”
When the school opens next fall, it will be capable of comfortably educating 700 students, with space for enough portables to house another 200 students on site. 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.
“It’s an area of the school district where there’s definitely need for additional capacity to handle the kids right now, and the other 3,200 who are coming in the next 10 years,” said Superintendent Tom Seigel.
Click here to watch the latest drone video showcasing the recent work being done at the site.
Challenger High School
Another exciting bond project now in the works is the second phase of Challenger High School’s renovation and expansion.
As you probably know by now, Challenger is getting completely rebuilt to get students and staff out of old portables and into real classrooms. Phase I of that project, which built new classrooms, offices, and common areas, opened earlier this year. The 8,000-square foot building was not funded by our recent construction bond, but the larger second phase of the project will be.
This month our School Board approved the educational specifications for the the second phase of the project. The 31,000-square foot project will add new classroom space, as well as more parking and a practice field.
Architect Wade Jensen said one of the guiding principles for this site was, “creating a secure interior area with buildings circling the outside to make students feel safe and to build a sense of community.”
Phase 2 construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2021, with the completed school opening to students in the fall of 2022.
Other bond projects
Naches Trail Elementary
Naches Trail’s modernization and expansion project is being done in two phases. Crews finished improving the site circulation for the school this summer. That project will help improve traffic flow at the school for cars and buses.
“Seeing that whole project from beginning to end was quite awesome to watch,” said School Board President Marcus Young. “I’ve been part of that cluster of cars at the beginning of days and at the end of the day, so I know it will definitely be a relief.”
The second phase of the project to renovate and expand the school will begin in 2023.
Next year is also shaping up to be a busy one for our construction teams. Not only is Katherine G. Johnson Elementary scheduled to open in the fall, but:
- Construction begins on the new Bethel High School
- Construction begins on Phase II of Challenger High School
- Planning continues for the Graham-Kapowsin High School expansion project, which will start in 2022
- Planning begins for Evergreen Elementary’s modernization and expansion project