After more than a year of study, Clover Park School District’s Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) presented its recommendations for school facility improvements to the board of directors.
The FAC is a citizen advisory committee that provides short and long-range recommendations for facility improvements and to address the capital bond issues needed to support them.
On May 26, the FAC asked the Clover Park School District Board of Directors to consider the following projects for a potential bond proposition in February 2010:
* Rebuild Hudtloff Middle School;
* Rebuild Southgate Elementary School and Consolidate with Oakwood Elementary School at a site to be determined;
* Develop a CenterPiece Partnership with Clover Park Technical College;
On average Clover Park School District schools facilities are about 46 years old, which exceeds their suggested lifespan of 30 years. In their presentation to the board, committee members provide some background for their recommendations.
* Rebuild Hudtloff Middle School
Hudtloff Middle School is 52 years old and is very costly to maintain and energy inefficient. The school’s infrastructures are outdated. The school would be reconstructed at its current site and athletic fields would be updated for school and community use.
* Rebuild Southgate Elementary and Consolidate with Oakwood Elementary School
Southgate and Oakwood are 53 and 45 years old, respectively. Foundation systems are cracked and show signs of damage. The schools’ infrastructures are also outdated. The nearly flat roof at Southgate is a constant maintenance challenge. Southgate also backs up to railroad tracks, which will be storing commuter trains and the new high-speed train service through Lakewood.
Oakwood Elementary is located in the McChord flight zone and cannot be reconstructed at its current site. The consolidated Southgate and Oakwood Elementary would be rebuilt on a site to be determined. The savings resulting from the consolidation of the schools will be put back into educational programs.
* Develop a CenterPiece Partnership with Clover Park Technical College
The FAC recommends a potential partnership with Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) modeled after the successful partnership between Lakeview Hope Academy and the Boys & Girls Club. The CenterPiece Partnership would create a 6 – 12 school involving the International Baccalaureate (IB) middle years and diploma programs, opportunities for career and technical education and online learning. The district and CPTC would explore ways to share property, facilities and resources that would reduce project, maintenance and operations costs for maximum community benefit. This project would also include a consolidation of an existing facility (AI High School) and those savings would be reinvested into educational programs.
FAC representatives also stressed that these projects would continue the district’s current capital improvement program and will not increase the existing tax rate. The recommendations, totaling approximately $95 million, allow the district to maintain the current tax rate.
The FAC also suggested that the school board initiate a study in spring/summer of 2010 to address Tillicum Elementary. As part of the study, consideration would be given to the reconstruction of the school in alignment with the City of Lakewood’s redevelopment plans. This potential project would be part of a next phase, 2014 capital bond proposition
In addition, the FAC recommended that school district officials aggressively pursue federal funding to replace the federally-owned schools located on Fort Lewis and McChord AFB.
“These recommendations represent a lot of research, discussion and innovation,” said Joe Vlaming, FAC chairperson. “FAC members unanimously agreed to these recommendations and are eager to begin the next steps to making these recommendations a reality.”
The board of directors will study the recommendations over the next several months and will finalize their preferences in the fall.
The complete FAC report is available on Clover Park School District’s Web page at www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us.