Sept. 2015: Facilities Update

It’s been less than two years since voters approved our facilities bond in Nov. 2013, and it’s incredible and exciting for our kids, staff and community to see so many physical changes at our schools.

Lowell Elementary School’s addition was fully opened to students on Aug. 26 for the first day of school. Lowell’s new gymnasium, cafeteria, kitchen and music class/stage are just beautiful. We’re working hard to finish the school’s elevator to ensure accessibility for all. The official community unveiling for neighbors, staff, students and families is at 3 p.m. on Oct. 8, and all are welcome. You can expect student-led tours, refreshments and a warm welcome. If you’re curious to see the school’s progression, I recommend watching a time lapse video here.

We’re celebrating a milestone at the site of the new Happy Valley Elementary School: walls are up! Our Happy Valley students, staff and community have been watching with great interest as crews build, dig, stack, lift and lower a variety of materials to ensure a new school is ready by Aug. 2016. We broke ground in June 2015, and since then, there’s been a flurry of activity, which you can watch here (time-lapse movie button on right).

Across town, construction workers are working on building Parkview a new cafeteria, kitchen and music classroom/stage. You can watch the progress of this project, as well. Can you tell I’m digging these facility cameras?! Of course, I encourage everyone to see this work in person, but it’s a great tool to watch our progress from anywhere.

And I don’t have time-lapse movies to share for Options or Sehome high schools… yet!

We’re on target to finish planning for our new Options with our Options High School Educational Specifications/ Design Advisory Committee by the end of this school year. Construction is slated to begin in June 2016. You can see the committee’s visioning and recommendation for the new school’s design and function. It’s been powerful to see and hear current Options students who won’t likely experience the new facility offer reflective input on the behalf of future students.

Please watch for a variety of ways to help with big picture visioning for both our new Sehome High School and food services program in preparation for the Central Kitchen. This fall is ripe with opportunities to be involved and provide input on both processes, which are large in scale and scope. Because of their size, we want thorough and thoughtful planning processes for both projects. Our target date to have both Sehome and Central Kitchen (which will be on Sehome’s campus) complete is in the Fall of 2019.

We’re so appreciative to our community for its ongoing support in providing safe facilities that support the work of The Bellingham Promise.

Comments (7)

  1. Debbie Turk

    2 years ago

    Love reading about the updates, Dr. Baker, and how passionate you are about the well-being of our community’s future.

    Keep the updates coming!

    The ability to “see the change” is so inspiring.

    Tax dollars well spent!

    • gbaker

      2 years ago

      Thank you! I agree.

  2. Katharine Bothel

    2 years ago

    Love the time lapse videos! Very cool.

    • gbaker

      2 years ago

      Thank you! I enjoy them, too. It is great seeing our bond dollars at work.

  3. Guest

    2 years ago

    That sounds like great progress. Would you possibly consider doing a blog post about the 1:1 tech proposal? I know I missed the survey window for input and I wonder if there are others like me who would still like a chance to weigh in with questions or concerns. I know it’s in the task force phase but a lot of what I’ve heard and read has left me feeling like 1:1 is a foregone conclusion. Maybe if you don’t want to do a tech specific blog post, you could post an open thread. Thanks.

    • gbaker

      2 years ago

      Thanks for your comment. Please know I am always open to feedback, even if the survey window has passed. And yes, doing a blog specially about the 1:1 idea is on the horizon! In the meantime, please feel free to add your feedback in the comment section on this thread. Going 1:1 is not a forgone conclusion. While there is strong interest and energy with staff, families and students to increase our technology, our Student Tech Think Tank is still wrestling with the idea and looking at best practices. The group, along with other staff, is going to be making school visits later this week. I’m excited to receive their report and best thinking, which may come to my desk as soon as next week. Thanks!

  4. zack wopat

    2 years ago

    So if part of this bond was to make energy efficiency up grades to b.h.s. and Sq.h.s. a suggestion that I have is to retrofit the florescent lighting to led, led lighting does not require ballasts witch after a while need to be replaced for example, in room 217 at Bellingham h.s there is a light fixture that started flashing today spontaneously probably dew to ballast problems. also led lighting lasts longer making operation costs lower for the school. I know that the lighting in the commons at Bellingham h.s got retrofitted to led last summer well I wanted to address something that has to do with the led lighting particularly in the gigantic red lighting fixtures have a terrible light temperature they make the whole room feel extremely UN-welcoming witch this problem is pretty simple to solve with light filters then they would give of a soft wight light though led lighting saves a lot of money they do have a bad lighting temperature please consider changing all of the lighting out to led

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