Bond update: February 2022
Welcome to Katherine G. Johnson Elementary
We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome students to the brand new Katherine G. Johnson Elementary. The school will open its doors to approximately 700 excited students on March 21.
While the school is opening later than anticipated due to issues the power company encountered, students and staff started this school year in class together using space in nearby schools. That way, once construction is complete, they will be able to move into the new school without missing a beat.
Just like the school’s extraordinary namesake, Katherine G. Johnson Elementary will use a STEAM foundation to provide a well-rounded education to every student who passes through its doors.
For those who don’t know, Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician who calculated and analyzed the flight paths of spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program. Among many other accomplishments, her groundbreaking work helped send astronauts to the moon as part of 1969’s Apollo 11 mission.
Naches Trail Elementay
Another bond project that’s heating up is our new Naches Trail Elementary. The school was originally slated to be a complete remodel and expansion, but a cost analysis determined it would actually be more expensive to modernize the current Naches Trail than it would be to build a new school.
Originally built in 1979, Naches Trail is one of our oldest elementaries. The school received some facility improvements in 1997, but the student population has outgrown the building and the 14 portable classrooms that are now being used on campus.
By building a completely new school on adjacent property the district already owns, Naches Trail students won’t have to be relocated during the construction, which saves money, makes the build quicker, and is safer for students and teachers.
We’ll be hosting an open house on the evening of March 22 to give parents and community members a look at school plans and designs. Our construction team will be on hand to answer questions from the community. The drop-in event is open to the public and will run from 5:30–6:30 p.m. at Naches Trail.
Graham-Kapowsin High School
Our planning and construction teams are also making great progress on our Graham-Kapowsin High School expansion and renovation project.
The 33,000-square-foot expansion will add a classroom wing, a gym and weight room, along with administrative spaces and a larger commons.
Between January 4 and February 4, the district recieved 18 separate bid proposals for the job. After careful evaluation, our School Board accepted a bid proposal from Korsmo Construction of Tacoma. A summary of all the bid packages, including the winning bid, is available here.
The expansion is scheduled to be ready for the 2024/25 school year.
Challenger High School Phase II
As you’ll see from the video above, the second phase of Challenger High School’s renovation and expansion project is getting closer and closer to the finish line.
The 31,000-square foot project will add more classroom space, as well as more parking and a practice field.The new building will add more classroom space, as well as more parking and a practice field. It is on track to open in September of 2022.
Bonds are for Building, Levies are for Learning
All of our current bond projects are being funded by the voter-approved 2019 School Construction Bond. On February 8, our district will have two levies on the ballot for renewal. These levy dollars are separate from the 2019 bond.
Our Educational Programs and Operations Levy was last renewed in 2018. It helps pay for critical things like special education programs and extra transportation costs — items the state does not fully fund.
Our Technology Levy funds our iPad program that helped our district transition quickly to online learning during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can learn more about both levies by clicking here: bethelsd.org/Levy2022