At their Oct. 26 meeting, the Clover Park School District (CPSD) Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution for a school construction bond proposition.
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, Clover Park area voters will consider a bond proposition to finance and construct three projects. When approved, the $92 million school construction bond will allow the school district to:
- Rebuild Hudtloff Middle school at its current site;
- Build a new elementary school for the consolidated Oakwood and Southgate Elementary schools at a location to be determined; and
- Build a new Harrison Preparatory Academy in partnership with Clover Park Technical College (CPTC).
The school board made its decision based on a year and a half study completed by a 20-member Facility Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC included citizens from across the district and representatives from schools, the city, military and industry experts like architects and engineers. The FAC presented its recommendations to the board in May 2009.
As part of the recommendation process, the FAC considered demographics, educational programs and information from Lakewood city staff regarding economic development plans and transportation issues. Other considerations include:
- Hudtloff Middle School is 52 years old, very costly to maintain and energy inefficient. The school’s mechanical, heating and electrical systems are failing or not up to code.
- Southgate Elementary School is 53 years old. Foundation systems are cracked and show signs of damage. The school’s power and heating and cooling systems are also outdated. Southgate’s roof is a constant maintenance challenge. Southgate also backs up to railroad tracks, which will be utilized by commuter trains and possibly passenger and freight trains.
- Oakwood Elementary School is 45 years old and located in the McChord flight zone. The school cannot be reconstructed at its current site.
- The savings resulting from the consolidation of Southgate and Oakwood Elementary Schools will be put back into educational programs.
- The Harrison Preparatory Academy partnership between the school district and CPTC will involve sharing property, facilities and resources. The partnership will allow the district to redirect existing funds to classrooms.
- The current Harrison Preparatory School program, for sixth – 12th graders, is temporarily located in the former Lake City Elementary School. As Harrison Prep’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program is implemented and expanded, the facility needs are critical.
After the school board accepted the FAC recommendations, the board asked district staff to obtain more input from community members. As a result, nearly 20 small community focus groups were held to discuss the FAC recommendations.
“The school board was very interested in hearing input from the community on the FAC’s recommendations,” explained Clover Park School District Superintendent Debbie LeBeau. “The reaction to the recommendations has been favorable and a lot of good questions were asked, resulting in some very constructive conversations.”
The total bond package is $92 million. The entire program is based on a level tax rate program. In other words, when the tax rate for 2010 is set by the county, with approval by voters, the proposition will continue the existing tax rate over the life of the bond.
“A successful bond proposition will allow the district to continue to provide students with up-to-date facilities in which to learn,” said LeBeau. “Our students are already benefitting from a new Lakeview Hope Academy and a new Pathways Building at Lakes High School, as a result of the 2006 bond proposition.”
The average age of Clover Park School District facilities is 47 years old. According to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) Building Condition Report and recommendations from the FAC, several district facilities require major capital improvements. As required by state law, major capital improvements can only be funded by a school construction bond.
The FAC’s capital facilities plan is available on the district’s Web site. For more information, visit www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us or call the district’s community relations office at 583-5040.