Bond Projects Update: January 2021

we enter 2021, we can now officially say that Katherine G. Johnson Elementary is scheduled to open to students THIS YEAR!

Our amazing construction crews have been busy at the site for months, and their hard work is paying off. This month crews are putting roofing on the school’s A wing, adding insulation, electrical wiring and plumbing in the B wing, and pouring concrete and framing the G wing.

It’s been an exciting journey since we broke ground on the school last June on Waller Road between Military and 176th. In July the school was officially named in honor of the extraordinary American mathematician who calculated and analyzed the flight paths of spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program.

As summer turned to fall, and fall turned to winter, our construction teams continued to make progress on the school, transforming a raw piece of land into a campus that will soon be capable of comfortably educating 700 students, with space for enough portables to house another 200 students on site.

Katherine G. Johnson Elementary is scheduled to open its doors to students next fall.

New Bethel High School

Katherine G. Johnson Elementary isn’t the only big project we’re working on. Construction on the new Bethel High School is scheduled to begin later this year.

At 250,000 square feet, the new high school will be ready for 1,800 students in classrooms, with room in portables for at least 250 more.

The project is being designed by NAC Architecture, and representatives from the firm recently led our School Board on a virtual tour of the new BHS.

The 15 minute walk-through features stops in the library, cafeteria, gym, student support centers, arts facilities, flexible learning space, and a Pierce College satellite campus.

A highlight of the tour was a look at the state-of-the art performing arts center, which will seat more than 550 people.

“The theater is wasn’t just designed for people to come and see a show, but it was also designed so students can actually learn about theater craft,” said Matt Rumbaugh with NAC.

Theater at the new Bethel High School

After the new school opens in 2023, the old BHS building will be used as a “swing school.” This will allow students and staff from Cedarcrest Middle, as well as Evergreen and Naches Trail elementary schools, to move out of their current buildings while construction crews get to work on their expansion and renovation projects that are also being funded by the bond. This process will not only help accelerate the construction of each project, but also saves money with the reduced construction time.

The new Bethel High will be located behind Rainier View Church near 224th and 70th in Graham.

Graham-Kapowsin High School

We’re continuing to make great progress on our Graham-Kapowsin High School expansion and renovation project, and this month the School Board approved the schematic designs for the project.

The 33,000-square-foot expansion will add a classroom wing, a gym and weight room, administrative spaces and a larger commons. Part of the expansion, which is scheduled to be ready for the 2024/25 school year, will include a full traffic impact analysis, as traffic in the Graham area has been a concern.

Last summer, six double portable classrooms at the school were moved in preparation for the expansion project.

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

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