Bellingham Public Schools

Facilities Planning Task Force

Last updated March 29, 2013

Our Facilities Planning Task Force began our work with consultants’ evaluation of the condition of the district’s buildings, and we toured the facilities. We focused on the facilities that have not been newly built or renovated in recent years. While some of our facilities are in great shape, many need critical attention. We shared ideas with the community on Nov. 30, 2012, and hosted public meetings. We also collected and carefully considered community input received through online and telephone surveys. As a result of this additional input, we made some modifications to the original ideas we shared on Nov. 30, which are now part of our recommendation to the superintendent.

Please click here to read a brochure that summarizes our recommendation and next steps.

For the full recommendation, please click here.

We are excited by the many possibilities in this recommendation for improved learning environments for our students, staff and community for future generations!

Facilities Planning Task Force Outcomes/Goals:

  • Learn about schools and facilities related to current and future educational program needs; the physical condition of existing schools/facilities; how facilities are funded; and the process associated with voter-approved bond ballot measures.
  • Recommend a long-range Facilities Master Plan to the superintendent that may include: Possible renovation of existing schools/facilities; building new schools/facilities; repurposing existing schools/facilities; and/or purchasing property.
  • Recommend to the superintendent specific project for a bond issue to put before voters as early as spring 2013. 

Community members Jim and Linden Darling are co-chairs of this Task Force, which includes broad membership of students, parents, staff and community members throughout the city. The Task Force has been meeting since late September and plans to make a recommendation to the superintendent.

To foster transparency and open communication, the Task Force's meeting minutes, as well as presentations and data that they have reviewed, are posted below. Please contact Communications and Community Relations at 676-6520 with any questions.


September 27, 2012

Meeting Minutes


School Finance Overview by Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowan

Data and Supporting Documents:

Bellingham Public Schools Assessed Value Summary

Bond and Levy Definitions and Procedures

Facilities Planning Task Force Work Priorities


October 12, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Fall 2012 K-12 Facility Master Plan Purpose of Study, Data Sources and Facility Assessment by Educational Service District 112

Data and Supporting Documents:

Current Facilities PowerPoint

2012 Whatcom County Schools Tax Rates

2012 Capital Facilities Planning Task Force Focus Facilities (Note: Facilities marked "yes" are ones that the Task Force is focusing on; facilities marked "no" are not being addressed by the  Task Force for potential renovation/rebuilding/repurposing because they are new or are currently in the process of being built.)


October 16, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Fall 2012, K-12 Facility Master Plan Summary Score Data, Findings and Initial Thoughts by Educational Service District 112

Athletic Fields Presentation by Task Force Member Patrick Brown

Data and Supporting Documents:

1997 Elementary Schools Long-Range Master Plan by Kask Consulting

2007 Facilities and Enrollment Study by Zervas Group

2007 High School Physical Condition Score Assessment

2007 and Fall 2012 Larrabee Elementary School Physical Condition and Functional Adequacy Detailed Score Assessment

Fall 2012 Sehome High School Functional Adequacy Detailed Score Assessment

Fall 2012 District Office Functional Adequacy Detailed Score Assessment

Fall 2012 Existing Portables Districtwide

Sports Field Management Turf Trends Article


October 23, 2012

Meeting Minutes


District Office Presentation by Task Force Members Steve Clarke and Marilyn Grams

Options High School Presentation by Task Force Members Tom Venable and Leslie Adamson


October 30, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Vacant Properties Presentation by Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowan

Middle and High School Capacity Presentation by Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowan

Elementary Capacity with Additional Pre-K Presentation by Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowan

Repurposing Presentation by Task Force Members Rob McElroy and Missy Ferguson


November 2, 2012

Meeting Minutes

Data and Supporting Documents:

Ideas Generated by School Principals for Possible Bond Projects

Miscellaneous Proposed Projects By Buildings and Grounds Director Mike Anderson


November 9, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Project Ideas Initial Cost Estimates Presentation by Educational Service District 112


November 14, 2012

Meeting Minutes 


Bond Financing Options and Tax Rate Comparisons by Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowan


November 28, 2012

Meeting Minutes


January 11, 2013

Meeting Minutes


Tax Rate Comparisons Presentation by Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowan


January 16, 2013

Meeting Minutes

Data and Supporting Documents:

Centralized Kitchen Proposal

Southside Elementary School Walk-Ability Map

Student Transportation Data for Southside Elementary Schools


January 29, 2013

Meeting Minutes


Task Force Members:

  • Regular:
  • Jim and Linden Darling, community member co-chairs with facilitation and data gathering support from facilities consultants and staff
  • James Pai, high school student
  • Zoe Roberts, high school student
  • Rachel Williams, Parent Advisory Committee co-chair, parent of elementary/middle school students
  • Pam Behee, parent of middle/high school students
  • Teri McIntyre, parent of high school students
  • Mark Peterson, parent of elementary/middle school students
  • Laura Johanson, parent of elementary school students
  • Vicky Reardon, parent of elementary school students
  • Tim Hall, community member
  • Mary LeDonne, community member
  • Rick Qualls, community member
  • Leslie Adamson, high school teacher
  • Paul Clement, high school teacher
  • Alex Brede, elementary school teacher
  • Hale Hanaway, elementary school teacher
  • Patrick Brown, high school activities/athletics coordinator
  • Lisa McKay, elementary school secretary
  • Evan Schmitt, District carpenter
  • Marilyn Grams, District Office secretary
  • Missy Ferguson, Lowell Elementary School principal
  • Jay Jordan, Shuksan Middle School principal
  • Phyllis Textor, Sehome High School principal
  • Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Ron Cowan
  • Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Tom Venable
  • Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Steve Clarke
  • Executive Administrator on Special Assignment, Rob McElroy
  • Buildings and Grounds Director, Mike Anderson
  • Ex-officio:
  • Superintendent, Greg Baker
  • Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations, Tanya Rowe
  • Labor Association Leaders: Kris Craker and Peggy Shepherd, BASE; Alex Brede, BEA; Bill Stuckrath, BAO; Matt Read, SEIU; Dave Vanderyacht, Teamsters