Facilities Update, Spring 2016

Dear Families and Community,

I know many of you are already in summer break mode, but I wanted to offer a quick update on the ongoing physical changes happening at some of our schools, some of which are obvious to passers-by and others are still in the planning stages.

We held an official groundbreaking event at Options High School earlier this week to commemorate the upcoming “construction season” as we rebuild the new high school on Franklin Street. See our photos of the groundbreaking here. Tiger Construction of Everson has been named the contractor. We expect the project to be completed by August 2017. Options staff and students will be temporarily relocated inside Bellingham High School next year during construction.

The High School Turf Fields Advisory Group finished its work this spring. Installation of a new turf field at Squalicum High School has just begun, which you can watch on this work zone camera. Next up will be the field at Bellingham High School in 2017, then the fields at Sehome High as part of their rebuild. Premier Field Development, Inc., is the contractor.

Happy Valley Elementary School will open for the 2016-17 school year. The community is invited to an official ribbon cutting ceremony at noon on Aug. 23. Tiger Construction, architects and staff have put many hours into this new school. This summer, demolition of the old school will take place and work will begin on the outdoor fields and parking lot. Watch at time-lapse video here.

Parkview Elementary School’s new cafeteria, kitchen and music classroom/stage are also scheduled to open for the 2016-17 school year. Watch a time-lapse video of Parkview here.

The Sehome High School Educational Specifications/Design Advisory Committee recently submitted its recommendation for the schematic design and site plan for the new Sehome High School, and I have officially accepted the recommendation. The committee has been meeting since November 2015 and worked with architects to design a facility to meet varied program needs over time while creating a flexible, open space with multiple uses to support different teaching and learning styles for Sehome High School. The General Contractor/Construction Manager, Dawson Construction, has pledged a minimum of $100,000 toward a sustainable feature in the new building or on the site that we wouldn’t be able to fund otherwise. The advisory committee held a community meeting on May 24 to update families and neighbors and answer questions. Construction on the new Sehome is slated to begin sometime in the spring or summer of 2017, and the project will be completed by the time school opens in August 2019.

I encourage you to walk or drive by any of these facilities and/or follow our progress online,

Greg Baker