The biggest school we’ve ever built

District unveils educational specifications for new BHS

This aerial photo shows the location of the new Bethel High School. The main roads in the picture are 224th St. E. (top) and 70th Ave. E. (left).

“It’s the biggest building we’ve ever built,” Director of Construction Cathie Carlson said about the new Bethel High School. That building is one of the many bond projects currently in the works after voters overwhelmingly approved a School Construction Bond in February. 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.

Carlson has led the charge on planning for the new high school since April, when her team began development on the Educational Specifications, a 76-page document that includes site analysis and facility concepts. Carlson called it, “our blueprint as we move forward in the design.”

Schematic designs for the new Bethel High are expected this winter.

Capital Facilities Plan

At the November School Board meeting, the Capital Facilities Plan 2019–2024 was also approved. This plan contains information on district enrollment trends — including a forecast of our future needs for the next 20 years, an inventory of existing facilities, and capital projects needed over the next six years.

The plan also includes capital projects planned for the next 30 years, and impact fee calculations. Superintendent Tom Seigel reported that he had recently testified to the county about current impact fees, which he said are nowhere near enough to realistically build new schools.

“Currently, impact fees only cover 1/10th of one seat in a regular brick and mortar classroom, or 1/3 of one seat in a portable.”

— Superintendent Tom Seigel

Architects chosen for three upcoming bond projects

Erickson McGovern Architects have been selected to complete architectural services on the Naches Trail Elementary School renovation and expansion project. They will also complete architectural services for the turf field improvements at Graham-Kapowsin and Spanaway Lake high schools.

The Naches Trail site circulation improvements are scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2020, with the renovation and expansion to follow in 2025. The field improvement projects at GKHS and SLHS will be completed in the summer/fall of 2020.

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

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