Clearing the way for 900 students

Bond Project Update: April 2020

Aerial photography of the Elementary #18 site courtesy Dean Diemert

Land is being cleared on the district-owned Waller Road property that will soon be home to our 18th elementary school. When completed, the school will house 700 students starting in the fall of 2021.

Elementary #18 will also have space for enough portables to house another 200 students to accommodate future growth. 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.

Speaking of matching funds, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has determined that Elementary School #18 is eligible for state matching assistance. Part of the process is for the School Board to adopt a resolution certifying that the school will be completed “in accordance with the purpose for which state matching funds are being provided.” The Board adopted that resolution in April.

At the same meeting, the Board also award the bid for construction for Elementary #18 to Jody Miller Construction, Inc., of Tacoma.

When all is said and done, Elementary #18 will be the largest elementary school in the Bethel School District.

Bethel Early Learning Center

The Bethel Early Learning Center — our first preschool center — isn’t funded by the 2019 bond. But its completion will help ease the overcrowding we’ve been facing, and the future growth that is heading our way.

In a recent meeting, the School Board unanimously approved the Design Development package for the project.

Director of Construction Cathie Carlson said the Early Learning Center will feature seven classrooms and a “significant” kitchen.

“We’ll be serving multiple meals throughout the day,” she said.

Now that Design Development is approved, the next steps involve construction drawings and permitting.

The goal is to begin construction on the Bethel Early Learning Center this fall, and open the building for students in the fall of 2021, alongside Elementary #18.

Bond Projects — Summer 2020

Graham-Kapowsin High School will be relocating six double portables this summer in preparation for the school’s expansion.

Construction of synthetic turf football fields at GKHS and SLHS are also expected to start this summer.

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

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