Purpose/Goal:

  • Review long-term recommendations from the previous Facilities Planning Task Force, formed in 2012.
  • 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 (Alderwood, Carl Cozier, Columbia, Parkview, Sunnyland and Roosevelt); building a new elementary school on the district’s King Mountain property; repurposing the Alderwood Early Learning Center; upgrading some elementary playgrounds; exploring community facility partnerships; completing phase 2 of the high school fields and any additional funding needed to cover the remaining 2012 bond projects, including Sehome High School and the Gordon Carter Environmental Learning Center; continuing safety upgrades and facility improvement projects (roofs, etc.) at existing schools; and/or purchasing/selling property.
  • Recommend to the superintendent specific projects for a bond issue to put before voters as early as February 2018.

Basis for Establishment:

  • The voter-approved bond projects from 2012 will be complete/nearly complete by 2019 and significant facility needs remain at some of our older elementary schools.
  • 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 King Mountain property in the next decade and/or increasing capacity at our existing schools.

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 June 1, 2017.

Plan of Work:

  • Issue a call for applications in March 2017 to form the task force.
  • Meet 3-5 p.m. Thursdays April 20 and 27 and May 4, 11, 18 and 25 until needed to form recommendation.
  • Tour district and school facilities with additional meeting times/dates, as needed.
  • 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 May 2017.
  • Submit recommendation to superintendent by June 1, 2017.
  • Adopt a bond resolution in summer 2017 and engage Citizens for Bellingham Schools in fall 2017.

Members:

  • Parent, staff representatives and/or school administrator from Alderwood, Carl Cozier, Columbia, Parkview, Sunnyland and Roosevelt, and Sehome High School
  • 2 high school students
  • 2-3 community members/community partners (Boys and Girls Club, etc.)
  • High school athletic/activity coordinator
  • Jonah Stinson, Director of School Safety and Emergency Management
  • Mike Anderson, Director of Buildings and Grounds
  • Curtis Lawyer, Manager of Capital Projects
  • City of Bellingham Representative(s)
  • Simone Sangster, Assistant Superintendent, Finance and Operations
  • Bob Kuehl, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
  • Ron Cowan, Executive Director, Capital Projects and School Facilities
  • Tanya Rowe, Executive Director, Communications and Community Relations
  • Kristi Dominguez, Director of Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood Learning
  • Doug Nichols, Construction Services Group, Educational Service District (ESD) 112
  • Steve Clarke, Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning and Rob McElroy, Executive Director, Teaching and Learning, Co-Chairs

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; the district’s 2-year transportation levy that passed in November 2016 will be expiring before new bond funds are collected, as well as other bond rates that are sunsetting.