About 50 people attended public meeting on Feb. 16 at Chloe Clark Elementary school in DuPont to hear a presentation by project manager Rusty Pritchard of KJM, the district’s program and construction management service, and Lisa Johnson of DLR, a Seattle-based architectural firm. The presentation included a digital, “virtual tour” of the facility.
The $34.3 million project provides for a 104,240-sq. ft. middle school, located on a 20-acre site in Northwest Landing. The new school, scheduled to be occupied by Aug. 2008, is located at the corners of Bob’s Hollow Drive, Palisades Boulevard and Center Road. The school will replace the district’s 86-year-old Pioneer Middle School (formerly Steilacoom School).
The school’s design phase will continue through Nov. 2006, with construction to take place between Dec. 2006-July 2008.
Approximately 850 students can be accommodated in the new building. Steilacoom Historical School District is eligible for and anticipates receiving approximately $1.8 million in state match funding for this project.
The new middle school includes educational and support classrooms, athletic and support facilities, student services, support services and administrative spaces, based upon the approved educational specifications and programming needs identified by the building team.Lockers for 850 students also are included.
While the new school has yet to be named, SHSD school superintendent Dr. Art Himmler told the audience that a committee was being formed to take recommendations for the school’s name. Regarding the yet-to-be-constructed school’s design, Pritchard told the audience that it “embodies the spirit of Pioneer Middle School, and reflects the appearance of Northwest Landing.”
To date, Pritchard said that traffic and value engineering studies had been completed. A district SEPA documentation was being completed, prior to a public comment review. The design phase of the project is “on schedule and within budget,” Pritchard added.
The facility has been designed to accommodate district middle school enrollment with “spare room for 75-100 more students.”
“The district,” Dr. Himmler added, “has plans to accommodate every child in DuPont to be in our schools.”
As to what the school will be named, “that is one of the matters that will be resolved as the school moves closer to being opened,” he said.
When asked what would happen when the expanded Elementary School reaches capacity, school board member Mike Winkler said that voters would have to decide “what to do” before it reached that state. He pointed out that in the 2005 capital construction bond that “60 percent of voters from nine out of 11district precincts voted yes for the middle school.”
He thanked voters for their support of the district’s 2006 maintenance and operation levy. Steilacoom’s M&O levy passed with the highest level of approval in all the recent school elections.
That vote of confidence from our citizens ensures we can maintain and staff the schools we’re building, Dr. Himmler added.
DuPont City Councilmember Roger Westman thanked the school district for taking citizens’ comments about the school from the beginning.
A second public meeting about the school’s progress will be held in Steilacoom at a date yet to be determined. Meanwhile, regular updates can be viewed at the district’s webpage: www.steilacoom.k12.wa.us by clicking the link to the construction project site.