A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker
Dear students, staff, families and community,
I want to share an update on the work we’re doing and progress we’re making on our facilities projects. These improvements and rebuilds are possible thanks to the support of our local voters, who approved our bonds in 2013 and 2018.
You’ll remember we announced plans to relocate our District Office to Barkley Village in March after gathering feedback from our community. The input we received was overwhelmingly positive, with many community members saying they prefer the plan to move to Barkley (as opposed to renovating our current 111-year-old building on Dupont Street) for the financial savings to the district and to better accommodate future growth. The new District Office will continue to be office space and a center for professional learning and training, but we also plan to incorporate a childcare center and space for nonprofit partners to further serve our community and families. We now officially own the land at 1885 Barkley Boulevard, and we anticipate working with Bellingham-based RMC Architects as our partner in this project. We will launch a design advisory committee in early 2020, with construction beginning in 2021.
Parkview and Alderwood
Both Parkview and Alderwood elementary rebuild projects are on schedule and in the final stages of the design. Parkview has been submitted for permit with the City and Alderwood is still in the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process. Once approved with the CUP, we will then submit for permit with the county. We hope to break ground on each project in spring 2020.
The Parkview Educational Specifications/Design Advisory Committee has recently made some adjustments to its recommendations to enhance the new school’s design and functionality.
- The district recently purchased a property adjacent to the new school. This property allows us to move our stormwater system above ground, which not only saves money, but also expands and improves our future drop-off/pick-up vehicle roundabout area.
- We have decided to keep what is the current (old) gym and use it as a future multi-purpose/flexible space in the new school. After going through the “value engineering” process, our consultants advised us that incorporating this old space is cost neutral and after further review, we feel this will even save us money over time. The flex space could also be useful for additional cafeteria space, large group projects, buddy activities, storage, after-school activities, performance space when the new gym is in use, and community rentals.
Another bonus is that we can make these changes and stay within our budget.
The Sunnyland Educational Specifications/Design Advisory Committee recently held its first meeting, and the group of staff, students, parents and community representatives is excited to begin the design process. We anticipate the new school will be completed by fall 2022.
High school fields
Watch our progress on the new softball and baseball fields at Squalicum High School; the weather has slowed progress, but we look to complete the baseball field in time for spring sports. We have also started to plan with the Bellingham High School Turf Fields Phase 2 Planning Committee about the next phase of their turf fields for baseball and softball and multi-purpose field for football and soccer. Those fields should be complete by winter 2020.
As always, let us know if you have questions about any of these projects. You can also keep current tabs, view project cams, see photos and watch videos on our facilities projects webpage.
Again, a big thanks to our community for their ongoing support of our schools.