Purpose/Goals:

  • Review long-term recommendations from the previous Facilities Planning Task Force, formed in 2017.
  • 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 updates to the long-range Facilities Master Plan to the superintendent that may include: Possible renovation of existing elementary schools (Carl Cozier, Columbia, and Roosevelt); building a new 15th elementary school; moving/upgrading space/facility for Community Transitions; any additional funding needed to ensure completion of the remaining projects from past bonds, including Sunnyland Elementary School, District Office, school fields projects and Environmental Education Site; continuing safety upgrades; energy and sustainability upgrades; and facility improvement projects (roofs, etc.) at existing schools.

Basis for Establishment:

  • The voter-approved bond projects from 2018 will be complete/nearly complete by 2023 and significant facility needs remain at some of our older elementary schools and throughout our district.
  • Bellingham Public Schools has an equity gap with new and older elementary schools, and the educational programs (preschool, Promise K, special programs, music, physical education, world language, etc.) that our facilities can support.
  • Growth in north Bellingham may necessitate building an elementary school on the district’s north side property in the next decade and/or increasing capacity at our existing schools. This new school could also facilitate smoother construction processes by acting as a swing space for schools that are being rebuilt.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Recommendations will be made based on research, discussion and input gathered during the process.
  • Recommendations will be presented to the superintendent by Dec. 1, 2021.

Plan of Work:

  • Issue a call for applications in September 2021 to form the task force.
  • Meet 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Sept. 23, Oct. 7, 21, Nov. 4, and 18 and until needed to form recommendation.
  • Review long-term recommendations from the previous Facilities Planning Task Force, and updated data about school facilities and projected growth.
  • Gather feedback on draft recommendation in November and December 2021.
  • Submit recommendation to superintendent by December 2021.

Meetings:

Members:

  • Aaron Darragh, Principal Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Valarie Swenson, Dean, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Lynnette Bennett, Parent, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Minh Nguyen, Principal, Columbia Elementary School
  • Helena Quigley, Teacher, Columbia Elementary School
  • Jen Sandoval, Parent, Columbia Elementary School
  • Ari Feeney, Principal, Carl Cozier Elementary School
  • Adrienne Watkins, Counselor, Carl Cozier Elementary School
  • Sarah Marshall, Parent, Carl Cozier Elementary School
  • Analisa Ficklin, Assistant Director, Special Education
  • Liz Madden, Teacher, Community Transitions
  • Randy Holmes, Parent, Community Transitions
  • Owen Brown, Student at large
  • Zach Wopat, Student at large
  • Chris Carlson, Assistant Principal, Bellingham High School
  • Mark Peterson, Director of Facilities and Sustainability
  • Laurette Rasmussen, Whatcom County Health Dept.
  • Melissa Bianconi, City of Bellingham, Parks and Recreation
  • Laine Potter, City of Bellingham, Parks and Recreation
  • Curtis Lawyer, Director, Capital Projects
  • Chris Comeau, City of Bellingham, Transportation Planner
  • Jon Junell, Western Washington University, IT
  • Candace Styer, Western Washington University/Parent at Fairhaven
  • Simone Sangster, Assistant Superintendent, Finance
  • Jessica Sankey, Executive Director, Operations
  • Jackie Brawley, Executive Director, Communications and Community Relations
  • Kristi Dominguez, Assistant Superintendent, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Jay Jordan, Assistant Superintendent, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Isabel Meaker, Executive Director of Family Engagement
  • Steve Murakami, OAC
  • Ashley McClaran, OAC
  • Bob Kuehl, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, co-chair
  • Jeff Tetrick, Director of Teaching and Learning, co-chair

Responsibilities: Commit to meetings and be an active participant.

Budget Implications: No anticipated impact to the general fund. Members will thoughtfully consider any impact on property owners as other bond rates are sunsetting.