Last updated: March 17, 2017

What has been happening with the Sehome project since the last update?

We have since made some revisions as part of a standard process called value engineering; we use this process with all of our school construction projects. This is mandated by the state and helps identify design elements that reduce costs with little or no impact to our spaces for teaching or learning. The process involved looking for opportunities to reduce project costs while maintaining the sizes of our educational spaces, not making classrooms any smaller, and to maintain the adjacencies between the spaces the Design Advisory Committee identified.  In addition, the process was viewed as an opportunity to try and improve on the original design. The Design Advisory Committee met in November 2016 to review and provide feedback on the latest plans, and is excited to share them.

What are the major changes and improvements to the design for the new Sehome?

Our latest plans, Schematic Design 2.0 (SD 2.0) include three main revisions from the earlier plan:

  • Relocating the central kitchen off of the Sehome campus. We are working with a group to determine the best location for this project;
  • Installing synthetic turf fields for football/soccer only. Installing turf for baseball and softball will be part of a later phase, which is in alignment with our plans for Bellingham and Squalicum high schools’ fields; and
  • Changing the floor plan to two floors. The square footage of all instructional spaces and original adjacencies have been maintained.

Sehome Floor Plan

What does the floor plan change involve?

The original plan had three floors, while the new plan is a two-story school.  Even with this change, the design maintains the ceiling heights that are desirable in the career/technical education spaces. In addition, the square footage of all instructional spaces and all original adjacencies were maintained. With a two-story building there are fewer stairs, a less costly elevator, improved circulation, better proximity of services, improved constructability and a lower net cost.

To view some of the design rendering and floor plans, see above or click here. We encourage students, families and neighbors to stop by Sehome to see renderings and ask our staff and architects questions between 5:30 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 12 or Dec. 19 just outside of Sehome’s gymnasium (before/during scheduled basketball games). Renderings and perspective drawings will also be on display in the school office during regular school hours (7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) from Dec. 12 to Dec. 16.

How is this project funded?

Most of the project will be completed using existing resources from the facilities bond approved in 2013. However, due to new code requirements, site development costs and construction cost escalation since original estimates were developed in 2012, about $12 million will be added to the next bond to finish Sehome’s facility, fields and grounds.

What is the timeline for the new Sehome and are the other bond projects impacted?

The design revisions will not impact the timeline for the new Sehome High School; it will be ready for students by the fall of 2019. Groundbreaking is happening at 1 p.m. March 28.

Here is a quick update on the remaining 2013 bond projects:

  • Fields: Turf field installation at Bellingham High School will begin this spring with completion by fall of 2017.
  • Safety, energy and districtwide improvements: New safety systems have been installed at all sites, and many energy and other districtwide improvements have been made.
  • Options High School: Permitting and site issues have put this project behind schedule, but construction has begun and we are striving for completion by fall of 2017.
  • Central kitchen: We will be working with a group of stakeholders on the central kitchen design and location this winter (early 2017).
  • Transportation garage: A work group of staff and architects will be working on the design beginning in spring 2017.
  • District office: We may begin a design advisory process next school year; we also continue to explore if there is an existing available building that may meet our needs and could be purchased/remodeled more efficiently.
  • Gordon Carter Conservation site: We are monitoring new regulations related to digging the well associated with this project.